Mar 07, Colombo: Police spokesman Superintendent of Police Ruwan Gunasekara says that offenders under the state of emergency can be imprisoned for up to 20 years or life.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday declared an island wide State of Emergency following the anti-Muslim riots erupted in the Digana and Theldeniya areas in Kandy District.
In the Gazette notification issued on 6th March announcing the state of emergency, the President said he is of the opinion that by reason of the existence of a public emergency in Sri Lanka, 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.
The Police Media Spokesperson addressing a media briefing at the Media Center of the Defense Ministry last night said that under the emergency regulations in addition to the police, the three armed forces personnel have also been given powers to arrest the people who disrupt the peace in the country.
He said that the suspects who were arrested by the police or the three armed forces should be produced before a magistrate as soon as possible within 24 hours.
With the announcement of State of Emergency, the President has issued a series of orders to 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.
Furthermore, 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.
While the state of emergency has been declared for seven days, the government will monitor the situation and as soon as the security of the people is established the state of emergency will be removed, the Police Spokesman SP Gunasekara said.
Spokesmen of the tri-forces also participated in the media briefing.