June 17, Colombo: The Criminal Investigation Division of Sri Lanka police has launched a special investigation into the communal clashes between the Sinhala and Muslim residents of the Aluthgama and Beruwala towns.
Mobs on both communities were involved in the attacks and properties of both Sinhala and Muslim people have been damaged.
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne has said that Police with the support of Special Task Force (STF) and Army has taken all measures to maintain law and order in the affected towns. Stern legal action will be taken against the persons who are responsible for atrocities, he assured.
Army media spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya said soldiers have been positioned at several areas in Aluthgama on the request of the police.
Army is also patrolling the areas of Aluthgama, Welipenna, Darga town, Beruwala and Maggona, he said.
Local media reports said 41people were arrested by the police for the attacks and for violating the curfew.
District Secretary of Kalutara U.D.C. Jayalal said measures have been taken to establish peace and reconciliation in Aluthgama and Beruwala areas.
The District Secretary has met all relevant Grama Niladaries today and instructed them to provide necessary concessions to the affected people. He requests the people not to be misled by rumors spread by extremists.
However, the southern coastal towns still remain under siege of violence and sporadic attacks have been reported from the areas despite a curfew imposed by the police.
The Prime Minister said two people have been killed and about 44 have been injured but the media reports say the PM is downplaying the situation.
The Railway Control Room said the trains along the coastal line still do not stop at Beruwala and Aluthgama stations.