Calling today’s reports of mob violence in the North Western province an attempt to destabilise the country, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called on the public to cooperate with the police and the security forces in maintaining law and order in the country.
In a televised address to the nation, Wickremesinghe said acts of mob violence of a communal characteristic would only serve to disrupt the search operations and investigations being carried out by the security forces into the Easter Sunday bombings.
“The security forces are successfully carrying out investigations into the attack. Many of the perpetrators are now in police custody. The forces were able to bring the situation under control. However, if peace breaks down in the face of communal clashes, the country will be destabilised. Such disruptive acts get in the way of the security forces’ carrying out their investigations,” he said.
Sporadic acts of communal violence will also sabotage the upcoming Vesak celebrations, the Premier went on to say.
“There were attempts to create a tense situation in several areas in the North Western province. Property was destroyed. The police and the army have brought the situation under control. This group will attempt to create similar disruptions elsewhere. The objective is to make life difficult for the security forces, to destabilice civilian life and the country,” he said.
“The Government has therefore decided to impose an island-wide curfew. I have given full authority to the security forces to move against anyone breaking the curfew and emergency regulations. The security forces are taking all steps to uphold the law; therefore, I urge you to give your fullest support to the forces and the police to maintain peace,” he added.