President extends Emergency Regulations

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 08 September 1998, 11:17 GMT]
The Sri Lankan President has extended the island wide Emergency Regulations (ER) for another month from September 4, the Speaker of the Sri Lankan parliament announced this in the legislature this morning.

The extension of the emergency will have to be debated and approved in Parliament.

The opposition has charged that the government is making use of the draconian Emergency Regulations (ER) to supress democratic freedoms because it is worried that it might lose the provincial elections.

They say that the war in the north east is a lame excuse for the government to extend the ER to the rest of the country.

Opposition parties began a campaign last month to muster the Sinhala public opinion against Emergency rule.

ER has been in force throughout the country intermittently since May 1983.

On July 10, 1997, the ER was lifted in most areas outside of the north and east and the capital of Colombo.

However, in August 1998, an island-wide state of Emergency was again declared by the president and the provincial council elections which were scheduled to be held this year were postponed.

The Emergency regulations invest the government with wide ranging powers to arrest and detain persons and ban political activity.

Related Articles:
05.08.98   Emergency Regulations passed
04.08.98   Island-wide state of emergency announced
15.07.98   Nominations filed
19.06.98   Government moves to postpone PC Elections


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