Printed on Thu Oct 06 2022 12:29:16 AM

Sri Lanka declares state of emergency

International Desk
Sri Lanka state of emergency
Sri Lanka’s president declared a state of emergency giving sweeping powers to security forces a day after hundreds tried to storm his house in anger over an unprecedented economic crisis. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa invoked the tough laws allowing the military to arrest and detain suspects for long periods without trial as demonstrations calling for his ouster spread across the South Asian nation.

The emergency was declared for the “protection of public order and the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community,” he said in a proclamation.

The nation of 22 million is facing severe shortages of essentials, sharp price rises, and crippling power cuts in its most painful downturn since independence from Britain in 1948. Police reimposed a nighttime curfew on Friday in the Western Province, which includes the capital Colombo, expanding the no-go zone from the previous night. Earlier in the evening, dozens of rights activists carried handwritten placards and oil lamps in the capital while demonstrating at a busy intersection

People chanted “lunatic, lunatic, go home” before police fired tear gas and used water cannon. The crowd turned violent, setting ablaze two military buses, a police jeep, two patrol motorcycles, and a three-wheeler. They also threw bricks at officers. At least two protesters were wounded. Police said 53 protesters were arrested, but local media organizations said five news photographers were also detained and tortured at a local police station, a charge the government said it will investigate.
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