Sri Lanka: acting president declares state of emergency ahead of MPs’ vote | Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s acting president, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has declared a state of emergency as his administration seeks to quell social unrest and tackle an economic crisis gripping the island nation.

“It is expedient, so to do, in the interests of public security, the protection of public order and the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community,” a government notice released late on Sunday said.

Wickremesinghe had announced a state of emergency last week, after president Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country to escape a popular uprising against his government.

It was unclear whether that order had been withdrawn or had lapsed, or whether Wickremesinghe had reissued the order in his capacity as acting president, having been sworn in on 15 July. A spokesperson for Wickremesinghe’s office did not respond to Reuters request for comment.

The specific legal provisions of the latest emergency are yet to be announced by the government but previous emergency regulations have been used to deploy the military to arrest and detain people, search private property and dampen public protests.

The country’s commercial capital, Colombo, remained calm on Monday…


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