Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena. File photo
A state of emergency was extended by Sri Lanka’s President on Saturday, going back on pledges to relax the tough laws introduced after the Easter Sunday attacks that killed 258 people.
Maithripala Sirisena said in a decree he believed there was a “public emergency” in the country, and was invoking provisions of the public security act extending the state of emergency.
The tough laws, granting sweeping powers to police and security forces to arrest and detain suspects, were due to expire on Saturday.
Just over 100 people, including 10 women, are in custody in connection with April’s Easter Sunday suicide attacks against three churches and three luxury hotels in Colombo.
In late May, Sirisena told diplomats — from Australia, Canada, Japan, the US and European states — the security situation was “99 percent back to normal” and he would allow the emergency laws to lapse by June 22.
He assured diplomats security forces had either detained or killed all those directly involved in the attacks, blamed on a local extremist group and claimed by Daesh.
There was no immediate word from the government why Sirisena changed his mind, but security remains tight in the capital.
The emergency can be declared for a month at a time, and parliament must ratify it within 10 days.
The continuation of the emergency came as police announced criminal investigations against several top officers, including the Inspector-General, for negligence and lapses ahead of the bombings.
Sirisena himself has been criticised for failing to act on precise Indian intelligence that extremiststs were about to hit Christian churches and other targets in Sri Lanka.
A parliamentary public inquiry has been told Sirisena — who is also the minister of defence and law and order — failed to follow proper national security protocols.
The mainly Buddhist nation of 21 million people was about to mark a decade since ending a 37-year-long Tamil separatist war when the Islamic extremists struck.
Sri Lanka on Saturday extended a law granting security forces emergency powers into third month following the Easter Day bomb attacks on hotels and churches that killed more than 250 people.
Violence still continues to haunt Sri Lanka though it has been a decade since the Lankan army defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The defeat of the LTTE ended a violent chapter in the history of the island nation, but the wounds of the past seem to be opening once again for us (“Ten years on, Lanka still in hunt for peace,” May 16, Gulf Today).
Sri Lanka has ended a four-month state of emergency declared after Easter suicide bombings by hardliner extremists that killed 258 people, officials said on Friday.
A uthorities in Sri Lanka on Monday banned women from wearing face veils under an emergency law put in place after deadly Easter Sunday attacks by militants. The measures would help security forces to identify people as a hunt for any remaining
Firefighting vehicles had been deployed to extinguish the blaze, which broke out Wednesday night in Nakhon Nayok province, 114 kilometers (70 miles) northeast of Bangkok, government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said, adding that helicopters would be sent to provide further assistance.
Russia on Thursday charged an American correspondent for the Wall Street Journal with spying, in a case certain to escalate Moscow's diplomatic feud with Washington over the war in Ukraine and likely to further isolate Russia.
The preliminary investigations into the incident of the Asian man, who committed suicide after killing his family, showed that he had poisoned his wife, while throttled his two daughters (aged between 3 to 7).