Lankan prez extends emergency

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's president has used his executive powers to extend a state of emergency that gives sweeping authority to police and troops ahead of next month's parliamentary polls, an official said today.

The president on Monday night signed a proclamation extending the tough laws by a further month. The move also leads to the automatic re-instatement of the parliament which was dissolved last month to clear the way for elections. "The parliament now stands re-convened until the elections are conducted on April 8 and the new assembly holds its first sittings on April 22," the official said.

The president can extend the emergency for one month at a time, but it must be ratified by parliament within 10 days.