Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday signed a gazette notification to lift a nation-wide state of emergency which was imposed on March 6 following communal riots in Kandy district. Sirisena’s Secretary Austin Fernando told Xinhua news agency that the President signed the notification upon his return to the island from India and Japan.
In a message on Twitter, Sirisena said: “Upon assessing the public safety situation, I instructed to revoke the State of Emergency from midnight yesterday (Saturday).” The state of emergency was the first since the island ended a 30-year civil conflict between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009.
Communal violence erupted in Kandy earlier this month, leaving three dead, several injured and hundreds of shops, homes, temples and mosques damaged or burnt. More than 280 people have been arrested over the violence to date while tight security remained in place across the district to maintain law and order. The latest clashes were triggered after a 41-year-old man succumbed to his injuries after being attacked by a group of people on February 22.