President tells diplomats emergency likely to be lifted next month

President Maithripala Sirisena has told a group of foreign diplomats he was hopeful the emergency regulations will be lifted next month.

The emergency regulation were extended till June 21st after first being enforced following the Easter Sunday attacks.

President Maithripala Sirisena met with few members of the diplomatic community on their request to discuss about the progress of the operations carried out by the security forces to strengthen security in the country.

The President said that the country was now 99% secure. He thanked the international community for the cooperation and assistance provided to Sri Lanka at this time of need and urged them to continue to provide economic assistance and lift the travel advisories issued to tourists.

Addressing Ambassadors and High Commissioners of the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, United States, Germany, Australia and EU, at the President’s Official Residence in Colombo today, the President said that a large number of the terrorists and suspects had been arrested and a huge quantity of explosives and weapons have been seized.

He also thanked the envoys for the intelligence expertise and cooperation provided by those countries.

President Sirisena said that he was confident that with the current successful operation and with the assistance of foreign expertise on intelligence, the threat of terrorism could be eliminated. He said that in order to ensure non-recurrence of such terror attacks in the future, new regulations are being enacted and new institutions will be set up by restructuring the security services.

President Sirisena also said that it was essential to extend the emergency regulations for another month because of the ongoing operations conducted by the security forces.

He expressed confidence that the emergency could be lifted at the end of the one month period.

Secretary to the President, Udaya R Seniviratne, Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Ariyasinha and Additional Secretary Esala Weerakoon were also present.

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