Sri Lanka is mired a little in crisis. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared a state of emergency on Friday, May 6, granting sweeping powers to the security forces to deal with anti-government protests. This is the second time in five weeks that the head of state has taken such a step.
A presidential spokesperson explained that the head of state was taking this action to “Maintaining public order” After a general strike organized by unions on the same day to demand his resignation, due to the worsening economic crisis.
“The President used his executive powers to invoke the provisions of the state of emergency in order to ensure the maintenance of basic services and public order.”said the speaker. The state of emergency goes into effect at midnight on Friday.
During the day, police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse students who were trying to storm Parliament to demand the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Public transportation was off, offices deserted, and millions of workers went on strike at the union’s call.
Resumption of demonstrations
The state of emergency gives security forces sweeping powers: arrest suspects and detain them for long periods without judicial oversight. It also authorizes the deployment of soldiers to maintain order, in support of the police. President A state of emergency has already been declared 1Verse April, the day after a demonstration, during which thousands of demonstrators tried to storm his house in the capital. This state of emergency ended on April 14.
Since then, demonstrations against the president have resumed. Thousands of demonstrators gathered outside the presidential office, and small groups tried to storm the residences of political figures. An 85,000-strong police force has reinforced security around all ruling party deputies.
Protesters blame the president and his clan for the country’s catastrophic economic crisis, the worst since its independence in 1948, with shortages of fuel, food and other basic necessities.
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