Mar 06, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday declared an island wide state of emergency for a period of week after communal clashes between majority Buddhists and members of the minority Muslim community in the central hills escalated.
This afternoon, acting in terms of section 2 of the Public Security Ordinance, President Maithripala Sirisena promulgated a state of emergency for a limited period of one week by bringing into force section 2 of the Public Security Ordinance.
This state of emergency has been declared due to the following reasons:
1. Violent and criminal activities, which have taken place in certain parts of the country during the past two weeks
2. Loss of lives and damage to property owing to those activities
3. Tensions and discord among ethnic and religious groups arising from those criminal activities
4. Attacks on religious places, property, transport facilities and damages caused by them
5. 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 organized groups.
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.