Colombo: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared a state of emergency with effect from Friday midnight, according to the presidential media division.
The state of emergency gives the police and the security forces power to arbitrarily arrest and detain people.
Rajapaksa’s decision was to ensure public security and maintain essential services so as to make sure a smooth functioning of the country, the presidential media division said.
The decision came amidst weeks of public protests demanding the resignation of the President and the government.
Sri Lanka is going through its worst economic crisis in its history with the shortage of essentials, and power outages caused by a severe forex crisis.
Rajapaksa had declared emergency on April 1 also after a mass protest opposite his private residence. He had revoked it on April 5.