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Parliament passes state of emergency extension, TNA opposes

Sri Lanka's parliament yesterday passed an extension of the state of emergency currently in place since the Easter Sunday bombings. 

A vote was held after the main Tamil party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) called for it.

Twenty-two Sri Lankan parliamentarians voted in favour, whilst eight TNA MPs voted against. 

On May 22, the president issued an extraordinary gazette extending the state of emergency. 

The emergency regulations, which grant the state's security forces additional powers, have been used to carry out widespread search operations, detentions and arrests. 

Following the bombings, Sinhala mobs have attacked Muslim homes, businesses and mosques, killing one man and injuring hundreds.

A number of videos have emerged appeared to show Buddhist monks and Sri Lankan military personnel colluding with the mobs and taking part in the rioting. 

The army said it had launched a special inquiry into an incident which took place in Thunmodara where one soldier was accused of standing by whilst the mobs attacked Muslim property. 

"If the inquiry confirms that the person in question happens to be an Army member, the Army will take all necessary disciplinary actions against the said member," the army said. 

A video released by Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka yesterday shows military and police personnel not just standing by but actively joining in with rioting Sinhala mobs. 

"The CCTV recording from the mosque shows an army soldier apparently calling the mob towards the premises with a hand signal around 6.45 pm. In less than a minute later, at least three policemen and five soldiers can be seen among the mob that started pelting the windows with stones," JDS said, publicising the video. 

Read more here.

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