Protesters say they want the government to stop delaying provincial elections. However, the country's home minister argues the protests led by former president Rajapaksa are meant to draw attention away from a corruption probe into his family.
The government declared a state of emergency for ten days and blocked access to social media as 11 mosques were torched and 200 Muslim-owned businesses destroyed in riots by Sinhalese mobs that left at least three people dead and around 20 wounded.
The announcement comes days after the International Monetary Fund approved the release of $251 million to Sri Lanka, the latest payment of a three-year loan.
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