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Sri Lankan President declares state of emergency following violent protests over economic crisis

The state of emergency came into effect on April 1, according to an official gazette issued Friday, and allows authorities to arrest and imprison suspects without warrants.

Rajapaksa said the decision to impose the state of emergency was made in the “interests of public security, the protection of public order and the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community.”

The island nation of 22 million people is struggling with an ongoing economic crisis that has seen people forced to queue for basic goods and face hours-long power blackouts.

The declaration follows violent protests Thursday night, which saw furious demonstrators hurl bricks and set fire to a bus outside the President’s private residence in the capital, Colombo, Reuters reported.
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Police used tear gas and water cannons to break up the protests, according to Reuters, as officers arrested dozens of…

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