Sri Lankan president signs gazette declaring week-long state of emergency

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday evening signed the official gazette notification declaring a week long nationwide state of emergency in the wake of violent clashes reported from several parts of the country.

Despite cabinet ministers earlier saying the state of emergency will be in effect for 10 days, a statement issued by the Presidential Media Division said the president has declared a state of limited emergency for a period of one week starting from March 6.

Under the state of emergency, Sirisena issued special instructions to police and armed forces to use the emergency regulations appropriately and legally for the welfare of the people and ensure that the public is least inconvenienced and the human rights are not violated.

In a special statement issued on Tuesday evening, Sirisena appealed for peace and calm in the island country after violent mobs clashed in Kandy in central Sri Lanka, killing one person and injuring several others.

Earlier last week, at least five people were injured when mobs clashed in Ampara in eastern Sri Lanka which had been triggered by communal violence.

Sirisena warned to take “stern action” against anyone who spreads violence and rumors with the intention of provoking communal violence, at a time when the government was taking measures to establish political stability, peace among communities and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

“After discussions with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Cabinet of Ministers, a proper mechanism has been put in place to take further action. Therefore, everyone should act calm, maintaining law and order,” Sirisena said.

The police on Tuesday evening extended the curfew imposed in Kandy, following violent clashes which erupted on Monday. The curfew has been extended till Wednesday morning, the police said.

The police also said tight security would remain in place across the district to maintain law and order.

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