Emergency regulations to be gazetted at midnight

2019-04-22 at 15:10

In a bid to defuse the prevailing volatile situation in the country, the National Security Council today decided to Gazette clauses dealing with Prevention of Terrorism under Emergency Regulations, from midnight.

The President’s Media Division said the Government is due to issue the Gazette notification granting additional powers to security forces to ensure public safety in the country.

Under emergency regulations, security forces can carry out searches without warrants and detain suspects without charges.

The National Security Council convened under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena earlier today.

The Security Council session was attended by the President, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Commanders of the Three Armed Forces and several others.

During the discussion, President Sirisena also advised Police and Tri-forces to take prompt action to identify and eliminate terror groups involved in yesterday’s brutal attacks.

Furthermore, the President is expected to appraise all High Commissioners, Ambassadors and diplomats in Colombo pertaining to the prevailing security situation in the country.

Meanwhile, President Sirisena has decided to seek international support to identify the bombers and curtail the spread of violence following Easter Sunday attacks which were flagged by foreign intelligence units earlier in April.

The President has also instructed relevant officials to implement a new security plan in and around churches and places of worship.

At least 290 persons have been confirmed dead following yesterday’s blasts reported in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa.

Police sources informed NewsRadio that nearly 500 persons are receiving treatment at hospitals island-wide.

The attacks were witnessed by churchgoers yesterday as explosions hit the St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade, the Katuwapitiya Church in Katana and the Zion Church in Batticaloa.

Three leading hotels, the Kingsbury, Cinnamon Grand and Shangri-La Colombo also came under terror attack killing several persons including tourists.

Explosions spilled over to the afternoon as three more blasts were confirmed, one in Dehiwela and another in Dematagoda.

Meanwhile the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo will remain closed until further notice following the suicide attack reported last morning at hotel premises.