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Sri Lanka lifts emergency laws after three decades

Sri Lanka today announced the lifting of the state of emergency imposed nearly 30 years ago to confront the threat from the Tamil Tigers.

world Updated: Aug 25, 2011 15:37 IST

Sri Lanka on Thursday announced the lifting of the state of emergency imposed nearly 30 years ago to confront the threat from the Tamil Tigers.


The announcement was made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Parliament saying, "I am satisfied that the state of emergency is no longer required. So we will not extend it".

Rajapaksa said, "Today I propose to this assembly the withdrawal of the emergency laws to enable the country to conduct its affairs through its normal laws and in a democractic manner".

The island nation has been under a state of emergency since 1983, when the LTTE under its late commander Velupillai Prabhakaran was posing a threat to the country's government and forces.

The announcement of the withdrawal of the draconian laws came as Colombo is facing intense international pressure to end the arbitrary laws with human rights group accusing authorities of misusing it to crack down on dissent.

The Parliament extended the state of emergency every month and the practise was continued despite the end of the war in 2009.

Rajapaksa said there had been not a single act of terrorism in the island since the war with the LTTE ended in May 2009.

mergency regulations allowed the security forces to detain a person whom they "believe may commit offences," for up to one year as a preventive measure.