State of Emergency to end
President Mahinda Rajapakse has told parliament that the state of emergency which has been in place for the past 28 years will come to an end.
There are two laws which require renewal at the end of each month. The Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions and Powers) Regulation No. 1 of 2005 which was introduced by the then President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga following the assassination of the foreign minister.
The second law affected is the Emergency (Prevention and Prohibition of Terrorism and Specified Terrorist Activities) Regulation No. 7 which the current president brought in during 2006 after an unsuccessful attack on his brother, the defence secretary.
The laws gave the police and armed forces widespread powers to arrest and detain suspects. The Prevention of Terrorism Act remains in place and can still be used for ‘warrantless’ arrests and searches where terrorist activity is suspected.
UPDATE: The Sri Lankan Elections Department has announced that the elections for the remaining 23 local government authorities will now take place on 8th October and not 17th October as originally stated.