Page last updated at 15:54 GMT, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 16:54 UK

Sri Lanka extends emergency laws

Sri Lankan army commandos march during a special parade for military regiments who took part inrecent battles, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, May 28, 2009
Emergency laws give security forces wide-ranging powers of arrest

Sri Lanka's parliament has voted to extend the state of emergency for another month, despite the defeat of Tamil Tiger rebels last month.

A defence spokesman said that the army still needed time to to root out any remaining Tamil rebels.

The emergency has existed for most of the last 30 years and constitutionally has to be voted on every month.

It gives security forces wide-ranging powers to arrest and detain suspects indefinitely without charge.

"There could be fire beneath the embers," Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickemanayake told Sri Lanka's parliament.

"If there are elements who still support terrorism, we will deal with them," he said.

About 250,000 people were displaced during the final bloody phase of Sri Lanka's 26-year civil war. Most of them are being housed in camps in the northern Vavuniya district.

About 2,000 people were resettled in their home villages on Tuesday.

The government says all those displaced are being strictly vetted to ensure they have no links with the rebels.

Even though the war has officially ended, Sri Lanka remains a heavily militarised country, correspondents say.

It is estimated that about 80,000 people died during the course of the civil war.

Print Sponsor

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific