Sri Lanka extends emergency by a month

IANS . Colombo | Update:

Sri Lankan soldiers stand guard under the rain at St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo on 25 April 2019, following a series of bomb blasts targeting churches and luxury hotels on the Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka. Photo: AFPSri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday extended by a month the state of Emergency that was imposed immediately after the Easter Sunday attacks that killed over 250 people and injured hundreds.

Sirisena issued a proclamation saying that the emergency would continue for another 30 days, "in the interest of public security, the preservation of public order and the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community", the Daily Mirror reported.

The emergency gives sweeping powers to security forces to arrest and detain suspects for long periods of time.

The government initially imposed the Emergency to crack down on Islamist militants blamed for the 21 April carnage at three luxury hotels, three churches and two other locations. The killings were claimed by the Islamic State.

In the aftermath, anti-Muslim violence broke out in Sri Lanka in a backlash against the attacks. Muslim-owned homes and shops as well as mosques were targeted in the riots that claimed one life.

The police and the military say that a "peaceful situation was now prevailing in the country" after they arrested almost all those involved in the Easter attacks. The troops and police, however, remain on alert across the island.

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