Emergency Imposed to Ensure Public Safety and Political Stability – Department of Public Information


The government clarified yesterday that a state of emergency was declared by the President on Friday May 6 at midnight to ensure political stability which is vital to overcome the socio-economic crisis in the country, thereby ensuring public safety and the uninterrupted supply of essential services.

Excerpts from the press release issued yesterday by Chief Information Officer Mohan Samaranayake:

“Sri Lanka is facing the worst economic crisis and political instability after independence for multiple short and long term reasons. The common perception is that several reforms in the sectors of the political, economic and social fabric must be carried out in depth to get out of this serious situation.

“The priority among them is to manage the currency shortage as soon as possible and restore the supply of goods and services.

“The Maha Sangha led by the main prelates, priests of other religious denominations, economists, the business community and professionals, including lawyers and doctors, underlined the need for reforms to be carried out to overcome the current crises. .

“A series of reform proposals were put forward by the Sri Lanka Bar Association in its statement released on April 23. The most urgent challenge for the country is to manage the economic crisis and the debt crisis as soon as possible.

“The Bar Association reiterated that the most important need of the hour is to have a strong and stable government that is able to begin the proposed reforms and sustain them.

“Discussions have already been opened with IMF-led multilateral institutions and friendly countries to secure financial assistance and restructure outstanding debt, and the outcome of these discussions is positive. Political stability and peace in society are two essential conditions required to build the confidence and strength necessary for the success of such programs.

“The unrest that has been taking place across the country, including in the capital, for several days poses a serious threat to the safety of public life. Essential services, including fuel distribution, have been interrupted. Public transport, including rail service, was paralyzed.

“The daily functions of hospitals have been disrupted, causing inconvenience to patients. The functioning of manufacturing industries, including the garment sector, is intermittently failing. The school students missed their classes. Workers attached to factories and institutions in the public and private sectors find it difficult to show up for work. These protests have aggravated the economic crisis.

“Therefore, to ensure public safety, continue the uninterrupted provision of essential goods and services and ensure the smooth flow of public transport; In accordance with the powers given to the President under the Public Safety Ordinance, emergency regulations have been declared.

“The state of emergency has been imposed as a short-term measure to alleviate the crisis, and it will be lifted immediately after normalcy returns to the island,” the statement added.

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL), in a statement issued yesterday, expressed deep concern over the promulgation of the emergency regulations and called on the government to explain to the public the reasons behind the proclamation. He said the Commission hopes that the basic rights and freedoms of the people will not be affected during the emergency period.

The President of the HRCSL, former Supreme Court Justice, Justice Rohini Marasinghe invited the Secretary to the President, the Secretary of Defense and the IGP for a meeting on Monday, May 9.

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