Sri Lankan government supporters from the former northern war zone area wave the national flags and shout protest slogans outside the U.S. embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday. Pic: AP.

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan police say they will not allow rallies or marches inciting religious and communal hatred.

The decision comes one week after hard-line Buddhists hurled gasoline bombs and looted homes and businesses in several towns in southwestern Sri Lanka. The attacks were led by a mob from the group Bodu Bala Sena, or Buddhist Power Force, which rails against the country’s Muslim minority. Three people were killed and more than 50 in violence that erupted after an anti-Muslim rally called by Bodu Bala Sena.

Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said Sunday that religious rallies or procession will be permitted, but not those inciting communal or religious hatred.

The United Nations, European Union and the United States have expressed concern about the violence and have urged the government to protect religious minorities.

Subscribe to Asian Correspondent

Receive our weekly round-up of the most important stories in Asia

We will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.