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    Long history of Sri Lanka’s state of emergency: All you need to know

    Long history of Sri Lanka’s state of emergency: All you need to know

    Long history of Sri Lanka’s state of emergency: All you need to know
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

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    The island nation declared a nationwide state of emergency on Wednesday after its President Gotabaya Rajapaksa left the country for Maldives on a military jet in the face of a popular uprising against his government

    Sri Lanka declared a nationwide state of emergency on Wednesday within hours after its President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled to Maldives on a military jet in the face of an uprising against his government.
    The emergency was declared “to deal with the situation in the country", Prime Minister's spokesman Dinouk Colombage said.
    Rajapaksa, who is set to fly to Singapore from Maldives, is yet to step down from his post. On Saturday, after protesters stormed his official residence, Rajapaksa said he would resign on Wednesday. Meanwhile, protesters stormed the office of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's office demanding his resignation.
    Sri Lanka, a country of 22 million people, is mired in a deep political and economic crisis, the worst it has seen in seven decades. The crisis has left people struggling for food, medicine, fuel and other essentials. Last week, Wickremesinghe announced that the island nation was bankrupt.
    Emergency declared earlier
    Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had declared a state of emergency on May 6 to ‘ensure public order’ following a nationwide strike by angry demonstrators who blamed him for the unprecedented economic crisis. The emergency was lifted nearly two weeks later on May 21.
    Prior to that the President had declared a state of emergency on April 1 after thousands of protesters came out on the streets to protest the crippling power cuts and shortages of essential commodities. Protesters tried to storm into the President’s private home in the capital. That emergency was lifted on April 14.
    Rajapaksa had resorted to the measure on August 30 last year to check hoarding of essential commodities in the crisis-hit nation. The emergency was lifted within a few weeks.
    History of emergency
    Before Rajapaksa, in 2018, President Maithripala Sirisena had declared a state of emergency in Sri Lanka to contain anti-Muslim violence in some parts of the country. The violence had led to the deaths of two people.
    Between July 1983 and August 2011, Sri Lanka had been under a near continuous state of emergency for 27 years due to the anti-Tamil riots. The period was marked by brief respites in 1989 and 2001.
    From 1971 onward, the country had been under a state of emergency a couple of times during the insurrection of left-wing Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna.
    The first time emergency was imposed in Sri Lanka was in 1958 when the country embraced the Sinhala only language policy.
     
     
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