China on Wednesday urged the Sri Lankan government to take measures to ensure the security of its nationals in view of the communal clashes between the Buddhists and Muslims that led to the imposition of an emergency.
Sri Lanka on Tuesday declared a state of emergency for 10 days to rein in the spread of communal violence between majority Sinhala Buddhists and minority Muslims in the country’s scenic Kandy district that left two persons dead and damaged several mosques and homes.
Violence, triggered by the death of a Sinhalese man at the hands of a mob last week, erupted yesterday in the Theldeniya area of the central hill district popular with tourists. The government sent troops and elite police commandoes to Kandy to restore order and enforce the curfew.
Asked about the emergency imposed in Sri Lanka to clampdown on the communal clashes, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said here that China hopes the Sri Lankan government would take measures to protect the safety and security of Chinese nationals.
On the declaration of the emergency by the government, Geng declined to comment on it, saying that it is an internal affair of Sri Lanka. “We believe it is the domestic affair of Sri Lanka. We believe the Sri Lankan government and the people are capable of dealing with the current situations and to ensure the social stability and national solidarity,” he said.
China invested billions of dollars in Sri Lanka, including in the development of ports in Hambantota and Colombo. Sri Lanka has also emerged as a popular destination for Chinese tourists.