In a surprise move, Sri Lanka extends emergency over Easter Sunday terror attacks

In a surprise move, Sri Lanka extends emergency over Easter Sunday terror attacks

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Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena Saturday, in a surprise move, extended a state of emergency in the country, going back on pledges to ease firm laws introduced after the Easter Sunday terror attacks that killed 258 people.

Invoking provisions of public security act extending the state of Emergency, Sirisena in a decree believed there was a “public emergency” in the country.

There was no immediate word from the government on why Sirisena changed his mind and extended the emergency period, but security remains tight in the capital. However, emergency can only be declared for a month at a time, and parliament must ratify it within 10 days.

The continuation of the emergency came as police announced criminal investigations against several top officers, including the Inspector-General, for negligence and lapses ahead of the bombings.

April’s Easter Sunday suicide attacks against three churches and three luxury hotels took an ugly turn. Over 100 people including 10 women are held in custody. The firm laws gave powers to the police to arrest and detain suspects, in connection with the attacks.

In late May, Sirisena told diplomats — from Australia, Canada, Japan, the US and European states — the security situation was “99 per cent back to normal” and he would allow the emergency laws to lapse by June 22.

He guaranteed that the people who were involved in the attacks are either killed or in prison by the security forces.

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