Sri Lanka lifts curfew, panel to probe anti-Muslim riots
An investigation into the anti-Muslim riots that prompted a nationwide state of emergency in Sri Lanka was announced by President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday.
A panel of three retired judges will probe the breakdown in law and order, Mr Sirisena's office said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankans living in Singapore told The New Paper that they believe the riots were likely politically motivated.
"It is an isolated incident that has been given a religious and racist interpretation. This whole situation is created by the government," project manager Kalana De Silva, 38, told TNP.
He felt the government could have leveraged on the riots to gain control, especially over social media.
He has friends in the Kandy area and said they were not affected, although the situation was "really tense" over the past week.
Mr Chamara Settinayake, 33, a software engineer, agreed it was "quite a localised incident" that gained traction because of the hate speech that appeared on social media.
The Sri Lankan government declared a state of emergency last Tuesday as the unrest escalated when a Muslim man was found dead in a building in Kandy, a day after a Sinhalese man died of injuries sustained in an attack carried out by Muslim men, reported AFP.
Three people died, 20 others were wounded and more than 200 Muslim-owned businesses and homes were destroyed in four days of rioting that ended on Thursday. The curfew was lifted on Saturday.
Ms Alicia Seah, director of public relations and communications at Dynasty Travel, said its itinerary to Sri Lanka includes an overnight stay in Kandy, but customers here are booked to depart only next month.
"(They are) adopting a wait-and-see attitude. We will monitor the situation and amend the itinerary if necessary. Other parts of Sri Lanka are not affected," she added.
A spokesman for tour agency Chan Brothers said it does not have customers in Sri Lanka.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised Singaporeans to defer all non-essential travel to Kandy until the situation stabilises.