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The government also condemned the hate and "mischievous misinformation" campaigns carried out on social media, with the clear objective of creating disharmony among communities and inciting violence.

Sri Lanka does not have to look anywhere else to know what happens when bigotry is unleashed for political mobilisation. "I grew up in a civil war, which lasted 25 years, and I don't want the next generation to go through that". "Ensuring that diversity and pluralism are valued is critical to the work of reconciliation in Sri Lanka". A severed head of a youth was also found in the majority Muslim district of the capital Colombo which has reportedly added to tensions in the area.

"Amid mounting criticism of the police's 'poor response, ' President [Maithripala] Sirisena on March 6 declared Emergency Rule - a move that, according to his Ministers, allowed the government to summon the Army into ground action".

This is the first time the South Asian island nation has declared a nationwide emergency since 2009 when decades of civil war between the Sinhala Buddhists and the minority Hindu Tamils came to an end.

In 2012, Muslim mobs in Bangladesh destroyed 12 Buddhist temples and monasteries.

So far, police have arrested more than seven individuals involved in triggering the clashes on Tuesday night.

The government sent troops and elite police commandos to Kandy, home to famous tea plantations and Buddhist relics, to restore order and enforce the curfew.

Area residents said mobs swept through at least two towns in the central hills, attacking two mosques and a string of Muslim-owned shops and buildings.

(Web Desk) - Sri Lankan cricket legend and Multan Sultans' opener Kumar Sangakara has finally opened his lips of community riots in Sri Lanka.

Businesses and schools across the district remained shut.

The government also restricted internet and phone access in Kandy district to keep photos from being shared.

Mary Lucas, CAFOD's Country Representative for Sri Lanka, said the country faces a risky moment and has called the government to intervene.

The government ordered popular social media networks blocked in an attempt to stop the violence from spreading, and thousands of police and soldiers spread out across the worst-hit areas.

On a visit to Kandy, President Maithripala Sirisena urged religious leaders to do more to rebuild inter-communal peace. "There is an organized conspiracy behind these incidents", Sarath Amunugama, a senior minister told reporters in Colombo. "Three police officers were injured from the incidents", he told Reuters.

Meanwhile, following declaration of a state of emergency, foreign governments, including the USA and the United Kingdom, have asked their nationals visiting the island nation to "exercise caution, avoid protests and rallies, and comply with local security requirements".

The UN under secretary general, Jeffrey Feltman is due to visit Sri Lanka this week. The region has been under a curfew for three consecutive days.