IGP N.K. Illangakoon, issuing a special media statement, has stated that no Buddhist monk has been killed in the Aluthgama clash last night. He urged the public not to be misguided by rumours and unsubstantiated stories.
The IGP also seeks the assistance of the public to ensure law and order in the area. However, no explanation has been given so far by Police as to why it allowed the Bodu Bala sena to stage a protest in Aluthgama, paving the way for a clash.
Meanwhile, a crucial meeting in this regard is now being held at the AGA Office in Kalutara, with Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa at the chair. SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena, Senior Minister A.H.M. Fowzie, Muslim representatives and key members of the BBS are also present at the meeting.
According to our correspondents in the area, heavy police and military presence is seen in tBeruwala, Kalutara and adjacent areas. A sizable proportion of Muslims, who gathered at mosques last night following the reports of violence, are yet to return to their houses.
Muslims Still In Mosques; Shops Looted Throughout The Night
Reporters on the ground in Aluthghama told Colombo Telegraph a short while ago that fires are still raging in certain business establishments and homes, with evidence of heavy looting by mobs who torched the establishments throughout the night.
Colombo Telegraph learns that Military reinforcements including personnel, trucks and riot fighting gear are currently being sent to Aluthgama.
The looting and subsequent torching, and attacks last night occurred despite the curfew which was imposed at 6.45 PM.
Reports said that attacks were carried till the wee hours of the morning.
An uneasy calm prevails over Aluthgama and Beruwala with the curfew still being imposed.
Unverified reports said that the death toll could increase.
Many Muslims are currently being housed at mosques and Muslim organisations are currently calling for dry rations and medicine for the displaced and wounded.