The decision came after weeks of public protests calling for the President and government to resign.
During a protest outside parliament in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Thursday, May 5, 2022, Sri Lankan students of the Inter-University Students' Federation run through a tear gas cloud.
Despite mounting public pressure on the government amid the worst economic crisis in decades, Sri Lanka's ailing government won a major vote in Parliament on Thursday, with a ruling coalition-backed candidate chosen as deputy speaker.
Srilanka: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa proclaimed a state of emergency on Friday, with effect from Friday midnight, amid the country's economic crisis and the resulting anti-government protests, according to the news agency PTI.
The decision came after weeks of public protests calling for the President and government to resign. According to the presidential media division, Rajapaksa's decision was made to ensure public security and sustain the flow of critical services, resulting in the country's smooth functioning.
Sri Lankan police deployed tear gas and a water cannon earlier in the day to disperse students protesting outside Parliament, accusing MPs of failing to remove President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his cabinet. The student-led protest began on Thursday when a government-backed deputy speaker was chosen with a large majority in Parliament.
Sri Lanka is experiencing the worst economic turmoil in its history, with food shortages and power disruptions caused by a catastrophic currency crisis.
After a large protest outside his home on April 1, Rajapaksa announced a state of emergency. On April 5, he revoked it.
The state of emergency empowers security personnel and police to detain and even arrest anyone at their discretion.
- Includes inputs from PTI