The series-opener between India and Sri Lanka will go on as scheduled despite the central government imposing 10-day state of Emergency on Tuesday.
The government action comes a day after Buddhists and Muslims clashed in the central district of Kandy. All matches are scheduled at Colombo’s R Premadasa Stadium, some 90 kilometers from Kandy.
“At a special cabinet meeting, it was decided to declare a state of emergency for 10 days to prevent the spread of communal riots to other parts of the country,” government spokesman, Dayasiri Jayasekara, told Reuters.
“It was also decided to take stern action against people who are instigating violence through Facebook,” he added, referring to posts on social media.
While tension between Buddhists and Muslims have been brewing for over a year in Sri Lanka, things came to a boil on Monday when communal clashes resulted in killing of a man, followed by torching of Muslims-owned shops.
Multiple calls to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) went unanswered but Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Rajiv Shukla urged the Indian government on Twitter to ensure safety of the Rohit Sharma-led Indian contingent.
Emergency has been imposed in Srilanka after ethnic violence Hope cricket match takes place Urging govt of india to ensure protection far Indian players
— Rajeev Shukla (@ShuklaRajiv) March 6, 2018
India open their campaign against hosts on Tuesday in a series organised to mark the 70th Independence Day celebrations of Sri Lanka, and the tickets for the match, as per the host board, are sold out.
Meanwhile, the Indian team management released a statement stating that the situation in Colombo is “completely normal”.
“There have been reports of curfew and an emergency being called in Sri Lanka. The situation in picture is Kandy and not Colombo. This is to notify everyone that after talking to concerned security personnel (ministerial security division – in charge of tem security) we have understood that the situation is completely normal in Colombo. If at all there is any update on the same, we shall notify,” read the statement.