COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The government Tuesday imposed a state of emergency, giving the military sweeping powers of arrest and detention to tackle deteriorating law and order and to restore bus services crippled by a strike.
"The state of emergency will enable law enforcement authorities to act expeditiously and more effectively to maintain law and order and to ensure external peace," Deputy Defense Minister Ranjan Wijeratne told Parliament.
Sri Lanka has been rocked by protests in the last three weeks over the presence of 45,000 Indian troops, who are on the island to implement an agreement between New Delhi and Colombo to end a separatist Tamil campaign in the north and east.
President Ranasinghe Premadasa has said he would like to see the last Indian soldiers off the island by July 31.
Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi says they will be recalled only after Colombo devolves power to a provincial council in the north and east that looks after the affairs of the Tamils.