Egypt’s decades-long state of emergency expired on Thursday, marking the first time in more than 30 years that the law has not been renewed.
The ruling military Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has stated that they will continue to “protect” the country “taking into account that the state of emergency has ended”, until power is officially handed over to the winner of the presidential elections in late June.
The country has been in a constant state of emergency since 1981, with the law last being renewed in 2010 when ousted President Hosni Mubarak was still in power, before pro-democracy protest led to him being overthrown. The law gave authorities a range of powers, including the right to detain people without charge and try them in emergency security courts.
US State Department spokesman Mark Toner tentatively welcomed the move stating,
"Certainly it's something that we've repeatedly encouraged them (SCAF) to do and it's certainly in keeping with the timeline that the SCAF has set out for this democratic transition. So it would be another step in that direction."
The scrapping of the laws were also deemed “historic” by Human Rights Watch’s Heba Morayef who said,
"Tomorrow will be the first day in my life emergency law free,"
“It’s a law that symbolizedthe extraordinary powers given to the police,which created an environment in which forced disappearances and torture happened regularly.”
A parliamentarian from the Tamil National Alliance, M.A Sumanthiran, speaking to the Sunday Leader, outlined that the government was responsible for the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) calls to abolish the 13 Amendment.
The Sri Lankan government has expressed concern over a recent Memorandum of understanding, signed between the US Embassy in Colombo and the Trincomalee Urban Council, to establish an ‘American Corner’, a public information centre.
A Sri Lankan military soldier is suspected to have perpetrated the rape of a 7 year old girl in Nedunkeni, Vavuniya, reports Uthayan.
The incident led to a protest by local Tamils, demanding that the culprit be arrested.