COLOMBO: Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena promulgated a state of emergency for a limited period of one week in the country by bringing into force Section 2 of the Public Security Ordinance, Sri Lankan president's media division said.
The state of emergency has been declared due to violent and criminal activities, which have taken place in certain parts of the country during the past two weeks. It also led to the loss of lives and damage to property, owing to the violent activities.
The violence in Kandy caused tensions and discord among ethnic and religious groups arising from those criminal activities and led to attacks on religious places, property, transport facilities and damages caused by them.
According to the Sri Lankan government, the continuity of such criminal activities is affecting the law and order across the country.
"In such circumstances, it has been necessary to bring into force the Section 2 of the Public Security Ordinance as a measure to contain the situation and to restore normalcy", the media division said in a statement.
"President Sirisena has promulgated a state of emergency to restore normalcy and for the protection of the lives of people, maintenance of essential public services without interruption and to restore peace, law and order", it added.
The regulations enacted by the promulgation of the state of emergency provides the Sri Lankan police and tri-forces with powers to bring the prevailing situation under control.
The Sri Lankan President has instructed the police to impartially, comprehensively and promptly deal with those engaged in criminal activities and those causing or attempting to cause ethnic and religious tensions, irrespective of their ethnic or religious identities and political affiliations.
He has also given special instructions to the police and the tri-forces to take action in terms of these regulations, in a lawful manner in good faith, while ensuring minimum disturbance to the life and well-being of people, in conformity with Fundamental Human Rights of people, the statement concluded.
The Sri Lankan government earlier on Tuesday imposed a state of emergency for 10 days to control law and order in the country.
A curfew was reimposed on Monday in two police divisions of Kandy district till Wednesday morning, following the tense situation.
More than two dozen arrests have been made so far, following the violence against the minority Muslim community in Kandy district, which claimed two lives.
Members of the Buddhist community held protests outside a police station in Kandy, demanding the release of its people who were arrested in the riots.
The police have said that the special security arrangements, put in place in the areas, will continue and the country's Special Task Force (STF) has been deployed to maintain peace.