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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Emergency likely to go from next month

 Kelum Bandara
Fresh after the reiteration by India that Sri Lanka should do away with the state of emergency immediately, the government has decided to lift it from next month, a senior government minister said yesterday.
Last week in Lok Sabha, India’s External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna, making a suo motu statement, said that he stressed to his Sri Lankan counterpart the need for an early withdrawal of emergency regulations, investigations into allegations of human rights violations, restoration of normalcy in affected areas and redress to humanitarian concerns of affected families.

The government reintroduced the state of emergency in 2005 after the assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar by the LTTE in August 2005. Since then, the ruling party continued to extend the state of emergency in Parliament every month after a debate.

The government, however, scaled down some of the regulations in May last year, and cited the need to retain the rest to legally deal with those involved in terrorist activities.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) opposed the extension of the emergency right from the beginning. The opposition parties such as the JVP supported it during the war time. However, the UNP and the JVP started voting against its extension some time after the end of the war in 2009.

The Minister who wished to remain anonymous said the state of emergency would remain this month. Accordingly, he said that Parliament would debate it tomorrow as scheduled. “Most likely, it will not be extended from next month,” he said.



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