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* U.S. condemns communal violence in Sri Lanka
Mon, Jun 16, 2014, 06:37 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

June 16, Colombo: The United States today condemned Sunday's clashes between the Sinhalese and Muslims in the southern coastal towns of Aluthgama and Beruwala.

In a statement the U.S. Embassy in Colombo denouncing the violence that has spread over the weekend in Aluthgama and Beruwala urged the Sri Lankan government to "ensure that order is preserved and the lives of all citizens, places of worship, and property are protected."

The Embassy urged the authorities to investigate the attacks and bring those responsible to justice.

"We also urge all sides to refrain from violence, exercise restraint, and respect the rule of law," the Embassy statement said.

A demonstration by the extremist Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena in Aluthgama led to the clashes between the two ethnic communities in the town and soon the clashes spread over to the Muslim-dominated Beruwala town.

Three people have been killed and over 80 were injured. Scores of shops and houses were set on fire.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa vowed to investigate the clashes and bring the culprits to justice.

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