Page last updated at 13:04 GMT, Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Sri Lanka emergency laws extended ahead of election

Sri Lanka's outgoing parliament has voted to extend the state of emergency across the island until after next month's legislative elections.

Emergency laws give the authorities powers to detain terror suspects indefinitely and without charge.

The government says the laws are needed to contain Tamil Tiger remnants, but the opposition says they are aimed at stifling opposition and the media.

Emergency regulations have been in force for most of the past 27 years.

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