Former Sri Lankan cricketers Kumara Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene have condemned the anti-Muslim violence in their country that has killed at least three people and damaged dozens of mosques and homes.
More than 200 homes, businesses and vehicles were set ablaze during three days of violence in Kandy, which erupted on Monday and escalated the following day when a Muslim man was found dead in a burned building.
Sangakkara, who is part of the Multan Sultans franchise of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), condemned the violence on Twitter, saying “it is unfair to target anyone on the basis of ethnicity or religion.”
The Kandy region, 115 kilometres (72 miles) east of the capital Colombo, is popular with tourists as well as Buddhist pilgrims.
The Sri Lankan government responded to the riots by ordering a nationwide state of emergency, giving security forces and police special powers to arrest and detain suspects.
Internet access was restricted in Kandy and social media websites blocked in a bid to prevent the spread of anti-Muslim hate speech.