President promulgates state of emergency to redress situation

President Maithripala Sirisena promulgated a state of emergency for one week to redress the situation in the country, the President’s Media Division said.

The President’s Media Division said that the Police and Armed Forces have been suitably empowered to deal with criminal elements in society and urgently restore normalcy.

“President promulgated a state emergency a short while ago to redress the unsatisfactory security situation prevailing in certain parts of the country. The Police and Armed Forces have been suitably empowered to deal with criminal elements in the society & urgently restore normalcy,” the President’s Media Division said.

The state of emergency has been declared due to the violent and criminal activities, which have taken place in certain parts of the country during the past two weeks, loss of lives and damage to property owing to those activities, tensions and discord among ethnic and religious groups arising from those criminal activities, attacks on religious places, property, transport facilities and damages caused by them and continuity of such criminal activities affecting the law and order.

In some instances, these incidents have taken place in violent circumstances, and some of these criminal activities have been unleashed by organised groups, the President’s office said.

In such circumstances, it has been necessary to bring into force the Section II of the Public Security Ordinance as a measure to contain the situation, and restore normalcy.

As such, the President has promulgated a state of emergency to restore normalcy and for the protection of the lives of people, maintenance of essential public services without interruption, and to restore peace, law and order.

Regulations enacted by the promulgation of the state of emergency provides the Police and Tri-Forces with powers to bring the prevailing situation under control.

The President has instructed the Police to impartially, comprehensively and promptly deal with those engaged in criminal activities and those causing or attempting to cause ethnic and religious tensions, irrespective of their ethnic or religious identities and political affiliations.

The President has given special instructions the Police and the tri-forces to take action in terms of these regulations, in a lawful manner in good faith while ensuring minimum disturbance to the life and well-being of people, in conformity with Fundamental Human Rights of people. (Colombo Gazette)