Sri Lanka lifts nationwide state of emergency after riots end

COLOMBO — Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has lifted a nationwide state of emergency imposed earlier this month after Buddhist-Muslim clashes. “Upon assessing the public safety situation, I instructed to revoke the State of Emergency from midnight yesterday,” Mr Sirisena said on Twitter on Sunday.

He declared a state of emergency to rein in the spread of communal violence after Buddhists and Muslims clashed in the Indian Ocean island’s central district of Kandy on March 6, 2018.

At least two people were killed and hundreds of Muslim-owned properties and more than 20 mosques were damaged, media reported. Tension has been growing between the two communities over the past year, with some Buddhist and Muslims accusing each other for violence and attacks on homes and religious places.

President Maithripala Sirisena had declared a State of Emergency for one week with effect from March 6, to redress the unsatisfactory security situation prevailing over certain parts of the country.

Officials say that as a measure to control this situation, it has been deemed necessary to bring to effect Section 2 of the Public Security Ordinance.The Govt. Information Office said that the move helped normalize the situation. Police and Army had now been given authority to stabilize the situation within the legal frameworks of the Ordinance.

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