The Sri Lankan government has lifted the state of emergency since Saturday, almost two weeks after the island nation faced unprecedented economic and anti-government protests.
Troubled Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared a state of emergency from midnight on May 6, the second in a month amid growing anti-government protests across the country over the economic crisis.
The president’s secretariat said the state of emergency had been lifted from midnight on Friday, Hiru News reported.
The move is aimed at improving the law and order situation in the island nation.
The state of emergency has given the police and security forces the power to make arbitrary arrests and detentions.
The president’s decision to declare a state of emergency came amid weeks of protests demanding his resignation, and the government blamed the powerful Rajapaksa group for mismanaging the already epidemic-ridden island nation’s economy.
Nine people were killed and more than 200 were injured in clashes between pro-government and anti-government protesters.
Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence from Britain in 1948. The crisis is partly due to a lack of foreign exchange, which means the country cannot afford to import major food and energy, which is taking a sharp turn. Deficit and very high prices.
Inflation has risen to 40 percent, food, fuel and medicine shortages and rolling power blackouts have led to nationwide protests and a sinking currency, with the government lacking the foreign exchange reserves it needs to import.
New York-based rating agency Fitch downgraded debt-ridden Sri Lanka’s sovereign rating to “limited default” after the country defaulted on international sovereign bond payments.
On 12 April, Fitch dropped Sri Lanka to the ‘C’.