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Sri Lanka declares emergency from midnight

PTI Colombo | Updated on April 22, 2019 Published on April 22, 2019

Sri Lankan military officials stand guard in front of the St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Sunday.   -  Reuters

Measures would target terrorism and would not limit freedom of expression

Sri Lanka will enforce a state of emergency from midnight Monday in the wake of the deadly Easter blasts that killed 290 people and wounded more than 500 others, enhancing the counter terrorism powers of of the security forces.

The decision was made during a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena. The NSC has announced plans to impose a “conditional state of emergency” from midnight, said a statement from the president’s media unit.

It said the measures would target terrorism and would not limit freedom of expression. “These will be limited to counter terrorism regulations. This is being done to allow the police and the three forces to ensure public security,” the statement said.

Also read: Sri Lanka identifies outfit behind blasts

Emergency regulations would give police sweeping powers to deal with situations of breaches of security. The government also declared Tuesday as a national day of mourning.

According to the statement, Sirisena will seek international assistance to combat terrorism in the island nation.

The intelligence unit has pointed out support of international terror groups behind the local terrorists, suspected of plotting the deadly Easter blasts. “The international assistance would be sought to combat them,” the statement said.

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Published on April 22, 2019
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