Sri Lanka grants amnesty period to handover illegal firearms

COLOMBO, April 7 (Xinhua) -- The Sri Lankan government on Thursday announced an amnesty period to surrender illegal firearms after a rise in the country's crime rate.

The Defence Ministry said in a statement that a general amnesty period starting from April 25 to May 5 had been declared and any persons who possess firearms illegally are requested to hand them over to the nearest Police Station.

Sri Lanka has in recent months been battling a high crime rate including gang related shootings and robberies which has led to strengthened security in the capital and the south.

The rise in such shootings has also led to snap road blocks being erected in many parts of the capital and special operational units being set up in many police stations in the country.

Despite the surge in crime, security officials have assured that there is no security threat in the island nation and most of the incidents have occurred due to personal conflicts.