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Crisis-Hit Sri Lanka Lifts State of Emergency After 2 Weeks

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had declared a state of emergency on 6 May.

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Crisis-Hit Sri Lanka Lifts State of Emergency After 2 Weeks
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The state of emergency in Sri Lanka was lifted on Saturday, 21 May, nearly two weeks after it was enforced across the island nation in response to enormous economic and anti-government protests.

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had announced a state of emergency on 6 May, at midnight, for the second time in just over a month, following escalating anti-government protests across the country over the economic crisis.

According to Sri Lanka based Hiru News, the presidential secretariat announced that the state of emergency had been revoked as of Friday midnight.

The state of emergency must be enacted and enforced by Parliament, and the president must present it to Parliament within 14 days of enactment. However, because it had not been presented to Parliament for more than 14 days, the state of emergency was cancelled, stated Hiru News.

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The Crisis In Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is in the midst of its biggest economic crisis since its 1948 independence from the United Kingdom. A lack of foreign currency has contributed to the issue since the country has been unable to pay for imports of basic goods and gasoline, resulting in severe shortages and exorbitant costs.

Inflation approaching 40%, food, gasoline, medical shortages, and continuous power outages have sparked widespread protests and sent the currency plummeting, leaving the government short of foreign currency reserves to pay for imports.

Sri Lanka's national bank announced that the country has defaulted on its foreign debt, having borrowed tens of billions of dollars over the years to meet the requirements of a bloated system, reported PTI.

As people have experienced long queues for fuel, extended power outages, and food and medicine shortages, discontent has grown across the country.
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State Of Emergency

The state of emergency allowed police and security personnel the authority to arrest and imprison anyone at will.

Rajapaksa's decision to declare an emergency had come after weeks of rallies calling for his resignation and accusing the government of mismanaging the island nation's economy, which the pandemic had already damaged.

According to PTI, nine people were killed and over 200 injured in skirmishes between pro-and anti-government protestors.

(With inputs from PTI and Hiru News)

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