Sri Lanka police commandos, air force and the army sent hundreds of troops to Negombo to impose a curfew and contain religious tensions after clashes broke out between Christians and Muslims.
Dozens of Muslim-owned shops, homes and vehicles were attacked by a large Christian mob, unverified video clips being circulated on social media showed. At least three people were injured, police told AFP.
Rioters arrested by police will be prosecuted under emergency laws approved after the recent Easter Sunday church bombings.
The Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith today visited a mosque in Poruthota, a town in Negombo, to appeal for calm. He also made his plea in a televised message to the country.
Sri Lanka has expelled 200 Islamic preachers.
BELOW: Uniformed personnel accompanied the cardinal in Poruthota mosque this morning