Sri Lanka’s president approves lifting of national security act

This article is over 11 months old Kandy Port says 20 people had been caught and eight released on Thursday, 10 months after a ban was imposed Sri Lanka’s president approves lifting of national…

Sri Lanka's president approves lifting of national security act

This article is over 11 months old

Kandy Port says 20 people had been caught and eight released on Thursday, 10 months after a ban was imposed

Sri Lanka’s president approves lifting of national security act

Sri Lanka’s president has approved the end of a 10-month-long national security act ban, allowing tourists and other travellers into the country for the first time since it was imposed in April last year.

A senior official from Kandy Port said 20 people had been caught trying to enter the island and eight had been released by authorities.

“As far as the port is concerned, tourism will start up in three days. That is why it is important to take this action now,” Swaran Singh, the port’s director general, told the Guardian.

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In recent months thousands of devotees have swarmed towards ancient temples on the slopes of Mount Wanni as part of the annual Vesak holiday. In recent years Sri Lanka had welcomed more than 2 million visitors each year.

Parliament will discuss a constitution amendment on Sunday, MPs have said, paving the way for the return of a system that gives wide-ranging powers to the powerful president.

According to the constitution, the president is the supreme commander of the armed forces and chief executive.

The Guardian reported on Thursday that it was unclear how the new president, Maithripala Sirisena, will affect the role of the prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was forced to resign in October, but who a prominent opposition MP claimed was still in control.

Wickremesinghe’s party – the United National party – has called for an emergency parliament session on Saturday to protest Sirisena’s decisions.

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