Sri Lanka's government imposed a nationwide curfew Monday and temporarily blocked social media following a flare-up of communal violence in apparent response to last month's Easter attacks that killed more than 250 people, officials said.
Several dozen people threw stones at mosques and Muslim-owned stores and a man was beaten in the Christian-majority town of Chilaw on the west coast on Sunday in the dispute that started on the social media site, police sources and residents told Reuters.
A Sri Lankan security personnel inspects a vehicle on a controlled roadside in Colombo after the government imposed a nationwide night curfew.
Authorities said they arrested the author of a Facebook post, identified as 38-year-old Abdul Hameed Mohamed Hasmar, whose online comment "1 day u will cry" people said was interpreted as threatening violence.
Sri Lanka has been on edge since the April 21 attacks on three hotels and three churches which left 258 dead.
Sri Lanka has imposed a night-time curfew across the country amid an upsurge in anti-Muslim violence.
Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said that the mobs in Chilaw, 80 kilometres north of the capital Colombo, also attacked Muslim-owned businesses. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, but the government has blamed local Islamist extremist group, the National Thawheed Jama'ath (NTJ), for the bombings.
Addressing a service here, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith the Archbishop of Colombo, said everyone responsible for neglecting the intelligence and prior warnings on the attacks including the political leadership must be brought to book.
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Other actors have also voiced their support, as have the heads of several independent production companies . The latter stems from the passing of a new law within the states of Georgia and five other states.
There were 200 Muslim religious preachers (Maulvis) among the ones deported, the media report said.
Rights group Amnesty International said there was "a worrying trend of attacks against the Muslim community coming out of Sri Lanka" following the Easter Sunday bombings.
The main body of Islamic clerics, the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU), said there was increased suspicion of Muslims after the Easter attacks.
Internet service providers said they have been instructed by the telecommunications regulator to block access to Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and other platforms.
On Sunday, the Catholic Church held the first regular Sunday Mass since the attacks amid tight security.
Public schools completed their reopening from extended Easter holidays after the attacks, but attendance was extremely low, according to education authorities.
Muslims make up around 10 percent of Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka´s 21 million population and Christians about 7.6 percent.