emergency
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Sri Lanka’s acting president declares state of emergency

Sri Lanka’s acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe has declared a state of emergency, according to a government notice released late on Sunday, as his administration seeks to quell social unrest and tackle an economic crisis gripping the island nation.

“It is expedient, so to do, in the interests of public security, the protection of public order and the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community,” the notification stated.

Sri Lanka’s ousted president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled overseas this week to escape a popular uprising against his government, has said he took “all possible steps” to avert the economic crisis that has engulfed the island nation.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation was accepted by parliament on Friday. He flew to the Maldives and then Singapore after hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters came out onto the streets of Colombo a week ago and occupied his official residence and offices.

Read| Sri Lanka crisis: Centre calls another all-party meeting

The specific legal provisions of the latest emergency are yet to be announced by the government but previous emergency regulations have been used to deploy the military to arrest and detain people, search private property and dampen public protests.

The country’s commercial capital, Colombo, remained calm on Monday morning, with traffic and pedestrians out on the streets.

Bhavani Fonseka, senior researcher at the Centre for Policy Alternatives, said declaring a state of emergency was becoming the government’s default response.
“This has proven ineffective in the past,” Fonseka told Reuters.

Rajapaksa’s resignation was accepted by parliament on Friday. He flew to the Maldives and then Singapore after hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters came out on to the streets of Colombo a week ago and occupied his official residence and offices.

emergency

Sri Lanka’s parliament met on Saturday to begin the process of electing a new president, and a shipment of fuel arrived to provide some relief to the crisis-hit nation.

Wickremesinghe, an ally of Rajapaksa, was nominated by the ruling party as its candidate to be the next president but protesters also want him gone, leading to the prospect of further unrest should he be elected.

Wickremesinghe was appointed interim president on Friday after informally occupying the role since Wednesday, and the announcement was greeted with anger and frustration on the streets of Colombo.

Sri Lanka’s parliament met on Saturday to begin the process of electing a new president, and a shipment of fuel arrived to provide some relief to the crisis-hit nation.

Wickremesinghe, an ally of Rajapaksa, is one of the top contenders to take on the presidency full-time but protesters also want him gone, leading to the prospect of further unrest should he be elected.

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