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Sri Lankan President revokes state of emergency amid doubt of defeat in Parliament


Colombo: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa withdrew the state of Emergency on Tuesday late night, which he had imposed amid violent street protests demanding him to quit and doubt of defeat in Parliament.

Rajapaksa had issued an extraordinary gazette proclamation imposing Emergency Law on April 1 following strong public agitation blocking the way to his house in Colombo suburbs. In a gazette notification no 2274/10 issued on Tuesday night, the president said he has withdrawn the emergency rule ordinance which gave security forces sweeping powers to curb any disturbance in the country.

To continue the Emergency Law, which provides sweeping powers to the military, it requires majority parliamentary approval after 14 days. With the major coalition parties comprising 41 MPs of Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) announced to remain independent on Tuesday, there is a possibility of the tough law getting defeated in Parliament. Soon after the government lost the majority power on Tuesday, Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the main Tamil party representing Tamils from the North and East of the island nation, questioned continuity of Emergency regulation.

Thursday’s protest near the President’s residence amid a major economic crisis with months long queues for fuel, LP gas and 13 hour power cuts and shortage of food and medicine, turned violent with police beating up people and a bus and several other vehicles belonging to the police being torched. Rajapaska imposed island wide curfew to block Sunday’s protests around the country but people got on to the street defying curfew which was in operation.

Sri Lanka is currently experiencing its worst economic crisis in history. With long lines for fuel, cooking gas, essentials in short supply and long hours of power cuts the public has been suffering for weeks. With continuing protests against his government, President Rajapaksa got his 26-member cabinet to resign and invited the opposition to join hands to form a government which all the opposition parties have declined.



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