President Declares State Of Emergency: Says Police And Armed Forces Have Been ‘Empowered’ To Restore Normalcy

President Maithripala Sirisena promulgated a state of emergency in the country a short while ago, the President’s Media Division (PMD) reported.

The PMD said the state of emergency was declared to redress the ‘unsatisfactory security situation’ prevailing in certain parts of the country.

It said the Police and the Armed Forces have been ‘suitably empowered’ to deal with ‘criminal elements in society’ and ‘urgently restore normalcy.

The announcement comes on the heels of violence in Kandy yesterday, after Sinhalese mobs descended on the town of Digana to avenge the murder of a Sinhalese man.

The Sinhalese man, a three-wheel driver, had been died in hospital on Saturday (3) morning after beating beaten up by 4 drunken Muslim men.

Muslim homes and establishments were torched in Kandy, prompting Police to use tear gas to quell the situation.

Twenty-four persons were arrested and produced before the Digana Magistrate this morning and remanded till March 19.

A Police curfew was imposed on Kandy last night, effective till 6 this morning. The curfew was lifted this morning across parts of Kandy, but Teldeniya and Pallakelle remain under curfew till 6 pm today.

Meanwhile, the body of a 27-year-old youth was found inside a burned Muslim-owned establishment this morning. Magisterial inquiries are underway.

Earlier this morning Minister S.B. Dissanayake told reporters a state of emergency would be declared by the President for 10 days, after which the situation in the country would be reassessed.

The government has condemned the racially instigated acts of violence in Kandy and in Ampara earlier this month, and called on citizens to ‘desist from falling prey to hate and misinformation campaigns.

Violence broke out in Ampara earlier this month, when Sinhalese youth accused a Muslim shopkeeper of doctoring their food with ‘infertility tablets’.

© 2017 Asian Mirror (pvt) Ltd