Sri Lanka’s government shut down social messaging networks including Facebook, WhatsApp, and Viber on Wednesday to control violence against minority Muslims.

The move comes after the imposition of a state of emergency on the Sinhalese Buddhist-majority island.

Tensions have escalated between the two communities in Sri Lanka over the past year, with some hardline Buddhist groups accusing Muslims of forcing people to convert to Islam and vandalising Buddhist archaeological sites.

Police imposed a curfew in the central highland district of Kandy, where the violence has been centred since Sunday, following the death of a Buddhist man after an altercation with a group of Muslims.

Despite the curfew, violence continued in Kandy throughout the night on Tuesday. Schools have been closed until further notice.


Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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