facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Sri Lanka in state of emergency

Nov. 5, 2003 at 4:12 PM   |   Comments

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Sri Lanka's president Wednesday declared a state of emergency, handing the military sweeping powers of search and arrest and banning public meetings.

The action by Chandrika Kumaratunga's came as the nation's prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, was in Washington on an official visit.

The BBC said the declaration -- widely seen as a constitutional coup -- allows troops to enter homes without warrants, arrest people at will and to detain prisoners for up to a year without charges.

Kumaratunga, earlier this week, suspended parliament and fired two cabinet ministers.

But Wickramasinghe downplayed the situation, saying he told President Bush "things had changed" in Sir Lanka, but "this is part of Sri Lankan politics."

He told the BBC, "For 25 years we have had these ups and downs," and said he would "sort it out" when he returns to Sri Lanka on Friday.

The Tamil Tiger rebels, who have called a cease fire in their 20-year battle for independence, are expected to react with violence. Under the last state of emergency, the Tamils were targeted by security forces.

© 2003 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Poland buys medium-range missiles from U.S. Poland buys medium-range missiles from U.S.
2
Great white shark circling surfers photographed by drone Great white shark circling surfers photographed by drone
3
Watch: News anchor resigns live on-air to sell pot, '[Expletive] it, I quit' Watch: News anchor resigns live on-air to sell pot, '[Expletive] it, I quit'
4
Rutgers sophomore Caitlyn Kovacs dead after visit to Delta Kappa Epsilon frat house Rutgers sophomore Caitlyn Kovacs dead after visit to Delta Kappa Epsilon frat house
5
Cop-killer suspect Eric Frein possibly spotted, in standoff Cop-killer suspect Eric Frein possibly spotted, in standoff
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback