But Muslims in North-West Province remained nervous and stayed indoors Wednesday, after sword-wielding rioters killed one man late Monday while vandalising scores of shops and mosques. "Mobs had attacked him with sharp weapons at his carpentry workshop", said an unidentified police official. "This is the first death from the riots".
It has sparked a surge of anti-Muslim hate in the country.
The latest rioting came three weeks after a string of suicide bomb attacks against three Christian churches and three luxury hotels, leaving 258 people dead and almost 500 wounded.
In a televised address, Police Chief Chandana Wickramaratne warned that officers would respond to rioters with maximum force.
Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader and Minister of City Planning and Water Supply and Higher Education Rauff Hakeem yesterday in a statement strongly condemned mob attacks on innocent members of the Muslim community.
Mobs moved through towns in the northwest on motorbikes and even in buses, ransacking mosques, burning Korans and attacking shops with petrol bombs, Muslim residents said.
"It is terrible and frightening to witness the unfolding events of innocent men, women and children of the Muslim community are targeted in reprisal for the horrendous and beastly attacks by some extremists on three holy shrines and three hotels on 21April".
Curfews have been in place in the districts in the country's north-west since Sunday when a group of men smashed up Muslim-owned shops and a mosque in a dispute with a local shopkeeper. "There are people trying to make political capital out of this situation".
The Lankan government on Monday also reimposed a ban on social media following violent incidents between the minority Muslim and majority Sinhalese communities in the country.
Platforms were similarly blocked after the Easter attacks.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that they will take "strong action" and that acts of sabotage were hampering an investigation by security forces.
A state of emergency has been in place since the bombings - which the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group claims to have helped - and security forces have been given sweeping powers to detain suspects.
There had already been clashes last week between Christians and Muslims in Negombo, the town north of Colombo that was targeted by the suicide attackers.
The mob attacked the main mosque, 17 Muslim-owned businesses and 50 homes, witnesses said.
Authorities have arrested dozens of suspected rioters, including three described as Sinhala Buddhist hardliners who had been investigated for similar actions in the town in Kandy district previous year. Earlier, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube and Instagram had been blocked to prevent the spread of messages inciting violence.