Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared a nationwide state of emergency late Friday amid unrest, according to Asian News International (ANI), citing a Daily Mirror report.
It said the state of emergency was declared considering the current situation in the country and public safety, the protection of public order and maintenance of supplies and services necessary for the life of the community.
Police also instituted a curfew in the Western province.
It said the curfew will be in effect from midnight until 6 a.m. local time Saturday.
Government describes protests as ‘terrorist acts’
Demonstrations were held near the presidential residence to protest Rajapaksa and his economic policies.
The government described the demonstrations as "terrorist acts" and blamed "extremists" for the unrest.
During the demonstrations to demand the resignation of the president, 54 people were arrested.
In clashes that broke out between police and demonstrators, more than 10 people, including five policemen, were injured.
A curfew announced Thursday was lifted early Friday.