While the situation in Aluthgama and Beruwela showed signs of comparative improvement on Monday June 16th without any reports of anti-Muslim violence in those areas fresh violence erupted against Muslims in another nearby town in Sri Lanka’s western province.
Welipenna a town with a mixed ethnic populationabout 59 to 60 km south east of Colombo witnessed anti -Muslim violence overnight.
According to Police a mob of about 150 persons had entered Welipenna and targeted houses and businesses owned by Muslims.
Preliminary reports indicate that a Service station was first attacked and fuel seized.Thereafter the mob had used the fuel to set fire to houses and businesses owned by Muslims. Bottles had been filled with fuel and used as petrol bombs.
Police stated that about 10 to 12 businesses and 5 to 6 houses had been targeted. Attempts had been made to torch the Welipenna Mosque also.
Many Muslims had rallied together and defended their lives,limbs and property against the marauders.Several had been injured and unconfirmed reports stated that at least one had succumbed to injuries.
Police said that the situation was now under control and that a report on the incidents was being compiled.
Unconfirmed reports also stated that a Muslim owned garments factory in Ittapane close to Welipenna had been attacked.
Meanwhile the curfew in Aluthgama and Beruwela was lifted from 8 am to 12 noon for four hours.
MOB TRYING TO MARCH to DHARGA TOWN TEAR GASSED
There were signs of anti-Muslim violence erupting again in Aluthgamawhen a large mob including persons in robes attempted to march towards Dharga town in the evening of Monday June 16th saying the area needs to be renamed according to the wishes of BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero.However Special Task Force Personnel and the anti-riot squad of the Police stationed in the vicinity restrained the mobs from proceeding.A heated argument took place. When the mob tried to break through the Police cordon the STF and anti-riot squad fired tear gas shells and dispersed the mob.The situation appeared to be quiet at nightfall.