Sri Lanka withdraws emergency law imposed after Easter attacks

Sri Lankan Special Task Force soldiers stand guard in front of a mosque five days after a string of suicide bomb attacks on Catholic churches and luxury hotels across the island on Easter Sunday, in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 26, 2019. — Reuters pic
Sri Lankan Special Task Force soldiers stand guard in front of a mosque five days after a string of suicide bomb attacks on Catholic churches and luxury hotels across the island on Easter Sunday, in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 26, 2019. — Reuters pic

COLOMBO, Aug 23 — Sri Lanka today withdrew an emergency law imposed after Easter Sunday attacks, a military spokesman said, signifying the return of calm to the island nation which is set to vote in a new head of state later this year.

President Maithripala Sirisena imposed emergency law in April after more than 250 people were killed and 500 wounded in Islamist militant bombings across churches and luxury hotels on Easter day.

The army will continue to assist police for internal security, military spokesman Sumith Atapattu told Reuters.

The emergency gave police and military extensive powers to detain and interrogate suspects without court orders.

Almost all militants suspected to have links with the attackers have either been arrested or killed, Sirisena has previously said.

The Indian Ocean island is set to vote for a new president in an election due before Dec. 9, with political parties already having kicked off campaigning. — Reuters

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