Crisis-hit Sri Lanka lifts state of emergency

Sri Lankan government Lifting the state of emergency As of Saturday, nearly two weeks after it was imposed across the island nation it faced unprecedented economic and anti-government protests.

The embattled President of Sri Lanka was Gotabaya Rajapaksa declare a state of emergency As of midnight May 6, the second time in just over a month amid growing anti-government protests across the country over the economic crisis.

The Presidential Secretariat stated that the state of emergency was lifted as of midnight Friday, Hero News reported.

This step was taken with the improvement of law and order in the island nation.

The state of emergency gave police and security forces sweeping power to arbitrarily arrest and detain people.

The president’s decision to declare a state of emergency came amid weeks of protests demanding his and the government’s resignation, and he blamed the powerful Rajapaksa clan for mishandling the island nation’s economy, already hit by the pandemic.

Nine people were killed and more than 200 injured in clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters.

Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence from Britain in 1948. The cause of the crisis is partly due to a shortage of foreign currency, which means the country cannot afford imports of basic foodstuffs and fuel, resulting in a severe shortage and high prices.

Military personnel travel in armored cars on the main road after extending a curfew for another day after a clash between anti-government protesters and supporters of Sri Lanka’s ruling party, amid the country’s economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 11, 2022 (Reuters)

A spiraling inflation rate of nearly 40 percent, shortages of food, fuel and medicine and constant power outages have led to nationwide protests and a slump in the currency, with the government short of the foreign exchange reserves it needs to pay for imports.

New York-based rating agency Fitch has downgraded the debt-laden Sri Lanka to “restricted default” after the country defaulted on international sovereign bond payments.

On April 12, Fitch downgraded Sri Lanka to “C”.

Leave a Comment