Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared a state of emergency which will come into effect from Friday midnight (May 7) amid the country’s economic crisis and the consequent anti-government protests.
This is the second time in five weeks that an emergency has been declared in the country.
A spokesman for the president said that he had decided to invoke the tough laws to "ensure public order". This comes after trade unions staged a nationwide strike on Friday, demanding that the president resigns from his post amid the worsening economic conditions in the country.
The protesters had given an ultimatum to Rajapaksa and his government to resign by March 11.
Earlier in the day, Sri Lankan police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse students who protested outside parliament slamming lawmakers for not ousting President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his government. The protest, led by the students, began on Thursday after a government-backed deputy speaker was elected in parliament by a decent margin.
Sri Lanka is struggling with acute food and electricity shortages, forcing the country to seek help from its neighbours.
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