Sri Lanka: Muslims fear more attacks during Friday prayers

Sri Lankan Muslims say they fear being attacked during Friday prayers by Sinhalese Buddhists, amid accusations that security forces are failing to take action against marauding mobs. Al-Jazeera reported on Friday.

Despite a state of emergency and a curfew to reduce the violence that broke out last weekend between Muslims and Buddhists in the central district of Kandy, concerns Muslims that attacks will continue in Sri Lanka.

“I am living in fear and could not sleep the whole night as all the men from my family have gone out to protect us and we are left in the home,” Fathima Rizka, a 25-year-old from Kandy, told Al Jazeera.

“The police are not protecting us. They are just standing by while more attacks are being carried out … We don’t know what will happen next.”

According to reports, word is spreading among the Muslim community in Kandy that Buddhists are planning attacks in the area during Friday prayers.

Special arrangements are being made by the community to ensure that there are men who will pray at a different time to ensure that women and children are not left vulnerably alone in their homes.

Anti-Muslim riots began Monday after a Buddhist Sinhalese man died after reportedly being attacked by a group of Muslim youths. Buddhist mobs burned mosques and Muslim-owned shops in at least two towns.

The United Nations in Sri Lanka today urged authorities to take immediate action against perpetrators who ignite violence and requested the government to ensure that appropriate measures are swiftly taken to restore normalcy in affected areas.

The government has blocked popular social media networks including Facebook, Instagram, Viber and WhatsApp across the region of central Sri Lanka in an attempt to stop the spread of religious violence.

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