Thu, 06 Aug 2020

Colombo [Sri Lanka], Aug 24 (ANI): Sri Lanka has officially ended the four months of emergency rule imposed in the wake of Easter terror bombings that killed more than 250 people on April 21.

President Maithripala Sirisena had declared the state of emergency on April 22, after the eight coordinated terror blasts targeted three high-end hotels and three churches across Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka President's office has confirmed that President Sirisena had not extended it for another term and thereby allowed the emergency to end on Thursday, Colombo Page reported.

Sirisena had previously extended the order on the 22nd of every month following the massacre by issuing proclamations under the law and approved by Parliament.

The president discontinued the state of emergency as he did not issue the proclamation under the Public Security Ordinance, according to Daily Mirror.

Instead, he has issued a separate regulation under the same law to summon the armed forces for active service if and when necessary in all the administrative districts of the country without court orders. The move has however been condemned by critics who say it has been used to unfairly target Muslim citizens, Al Jazeera reported.

The state of emergency for the last one month lapsed on August 22, but the President did not issue any fresh proclamation for its extension for another period.

"The minister of defence will not extend the state of emergency," the official government news portal tweeted on Friday.

Hundreds have been arrested since April as the government used the emergency order, as well as curfews and social media blackouts, to tighten security across the country and hunt members of two local Muslim groups it said were responsible for the attacks.

Those groups had claimed allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIL or ISIS), although a Sri Lankan investigator said in July that the groups were inspired, but not directly linked, to ISIL.

Sri Lankan authorities say all those directly responsible for the suicide bombings have either been killed or arrested. (ANI)

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