State of emergency will not be extended – Defence Secretary

Secretary of Defence General (Retd) Shantha Kottegoda says that the state of emergency will not be extended in Sri Lanka once again.

This brings to an end a four-month state of emergency declared after Easter suicide bombings by extremists that killed 258 people on April 21.

President Maithripala Sirisena has been extending the emergency on the 22nd of each month since the Apr 21 attacks on three hotels and three churches.

However, his office had also confirmed to foreign media that the President had not extended it for another term and thereby allowed the emergency to end on Thursday.

The official government printer also confirmed that there was no notification reimposing the state of emergency, which gives sweeping powers to police and security forces to arrest and detain suspects for long periods.

The government used the emergency as it tightened security across the country and hunted members of a local extremist group which was held responsible for the attacks and which claimed allegiance to the Islamic State group.

Police have said that all those directly responsible for the suicide bombings have either been killed or arrested.

Tourism Minister John Amaratunga had also hinted yesterday that the emergency would be terminated

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