ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe has declared a state of emergency with effect from Monday July 18.

According to an extraordinary gazette issued Monday morning, the emergency was declared in the interests of public security, the protection of public order and the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community.

Wickremesinghe was sworn in as Acting President on Friday July 15 before Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya. He was appointed following the resignation of former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who fled the country following a massive protest that demanded his ouster.

Sri Lanka is going through its worst economic crisis since Independence, with a crippling dollar shortage resulting in long queues for fuel, cooking gas and other essentials.

The country has also seen much unrest in recent weeks, with protests intensifying and leading to confrontations between protestors and security forces.

While activists and opposition lawmakers accuse the government of overreach and oppression of peaceful protest, the government claims that “fascist” elements within the protest movement are deliberately engaging in violence seeking to destabilise the country. (Colombo/Jul18/2022)