Streets in Sri Lanka's commercial capital Colombo were calm on Saturday after the president declared a state of emergency following escalating anti-government protests, APA reports citing Reuters.
Details of the latest emergency regulations were not yet made public, but previous emergency laws have given greater powers to the president to deploy the military, detain people without charge and break up protests.
"The President has taken this decision due to the public emergency situation in Sri Lanka and in the interests of public security, the protection of public order and the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community," a statement released by his office said.
There were no initial reports of late-night disturbances following the emergency declaration shortly before midnight, while traffic proceeded as normal in Galle Face, a central area of Colombo that has been a major site of protests and marches.
At the main protest site in the city outside the Presidential Secretariat, around 100 people gathered to listen to anti-government speeches despite the state of emergency, while passing cars sounded their horns in support.