Sri Lanka extends state of emergency by another month

Colombo [Sri Lanka]: Sri Lanka on Saturday extended the state of emergency by another one month considering the prevailing security situation in the country in the wake of Easter Sunday attacks that killed more than 250 people.

President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday said in a decree that he believed there was a “public emergency” in the country and was, therefore, extending the emergency provisions in the interest of public security, according to Colombo Gazette.

“I am of the opinion that by the reason of a public emergency in Sri Lanka, it is expedient, so to do, in the interest of public security, the preservation of public order and the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community,” the President said.

“I, Maithripala Sirisena, President, by virtue of the powers vested in me by Section 2 of the Public Security Ordinance (Chapter 40) as amended by Act, No. 8 of 1959, Law No. 6 of 1978 and Act, No. 28 of 1988, do by this Proclamation declare that the provisions of Part II of that Ordinance, shall come into operation throughout Sri Lanka on and after June 22, Two Thousand and Nineteen,” he added.

On May 22, Sirisena extended the state of emergency in the nation by one month in the aftermath of the devastating Easter attacks.

The emergency was imposed in the country after multiple locations across Sri Lanka were bombed by terrorists on Easter Sunday in April. At least, 250 people lost their lives while over 500 were injured in the terrorist attacks, which were widely condemned.

Local terror group National Thawheed Jamaath (NTJ), which is an ISIS-affiliate, claimed responsibility for the bombings that targeted three luxury hotels and three churches in Sri Lanka on April 21.

Just over 100 people, including 10 women, are in custody in connection with Easter attacks that targetted three luxury hotels and three churches across the country.

The continuation of the emergency also came at a time when criminal investigations were announced against several top brass officials, including the Inspector-General Pujith Jayasundara, for major intelligence negligence and lapses despite prior warnings of bombings by New Delhi.

A parliamentary public inquiry had further criticised Sirisena for failing to pay heed to the Indian intelligence and to follow proper national security protocols.