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* President urges restraint as communal violence spreads in Sri Lanka
Mon, Jun 16, 2014, 12:35 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

June 16, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has urged all parties concerned to act in restraint and promised an investigation into the communal violence that engulfed southern coastal town of Aluthgama on Sunday.

The clashed erupted between the Sinhala and Muslim communities in the town after the extremist Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) held a demonstration in the town to denounce the attack on a Buddhist monk and his driver by a Muslim youth.

President Rajapaksa, who is in Santa Cruz, Bolivia attending the G77 summit Sunday, vowed to investigate into the incidents in Aluthgama and bring the culprits to the book.

"The Government will not allow anyone to take the law into their own hands. I urge all parties concerned to act in restraint," President Rajapaksa said in a Twitter message.

He said an investigation will be held for law to take its course of action to bring to book those responsible for incidents in Aluthgama.

The clashes between the followers of the extremist Buddhist group and the Muslims in the Dharga Town of Aluthgama left three people dead and over 80 people injured.

The curfew imposed on Sunday evening has been extended indefinitely in the two areas, the police spokesperson said.

The mobs set fire to the houses and shops in the town even after the government imposed a curfew.

Deputy Minister Faizer Mustafa is reportedly stuck in a school in Beruwala with displaced people in fear of mob attacks.

Meanwhile, local media reports said the communal violence was spreading to Colombo as an unidentified gang attacked a pharmacy in Dehiwala area.

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