Wide State Emergency In Sri Lanka Lifted

Erika Holt
March 20, 2018

Sri Lanka's president announced on Sunday he was lifting a nationwide state of emergency imposed 12 days ago to quell anti-Muslim riots in which three people died and hundreds of shops were destroyed.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said he made the decision after assessing the security situation.

The notification was issued after President Sirisena's return from a six-day official visit to Japan.

"The state of emergency declared on March 06, 2018 according to the instructions given by President Maithripala Sirisena has been lifted", a statement on the presidential website said.

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Violence, triggered by the death of a Sinhalese man at the hands of a mob, in the Theldeniya area of the central hill district popular with tourists.

The State Of Emergency which was declared in Sri Lanka, on the 6th of this month has been removed effective from today. The period of emergency regulations in effect was scheduled to end yesterday.

More than 280 people have been arrested over the violence to date while tight security remained in place across the district to maintain law and order. The country has witnessed a rise in anti-Muslim attacks since 2012, with hard-line Sinhala Buddhist groups turning increasingly antagonistic towards minority Muslims, who make up about 10% of Sri Lanka's population. Since a long time, the Muslims are accused on hurting the religious sentiments of Buddhists.

Sirisena said he ordered authorities to remove the block, imposed across the country during anti-Muslim riots last week that left three people dead after police said the social network was being used to fuel violence.

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