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Curfew imposed in Sri Lanka as protests against economic crisis turn violent

Curfew imposed in Sri Lanka as protests against economic crisis turn violent

Colombo: People in Sri Lankan capital Colombo, suffering for weeks under a terrible economic crisis, erupted in protest late Thursday evening. More than 5,000 people held a protest march in the Lankan capital near the President's house demanding that he step down, and clashed with the police.

As per reports, the residents slammed the government's handling of the country's crippling economic crisis.

Security forces fired into the crowd and used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the demonstrators, who were demanding President Rajapaksa's resignation.

Protesters set fire to an army bus parked across the lane leading to Rajapaksa's home in Colombo's Mirihana residential quarter, as well as a police vehicle.

President Rajapaksa was not at home during the melee, news agency AFP reported.

"45 people arrested (44 men and 1 woman ) and 5 police officers injured including an ASP and being treated at hospitals following the protest in Mirihana, Nugegoda last night. One police bus, 1 police jeep, 2 motorbikes burnt and one water cannon truck damaged," a police spokesperson said.

The government said that the protests were organised by an extremist group. "Majority of the perpetrators have been arrested," it said.

There has been a critical shortage of food and essential items, fuel and gas for weeks as the country grapples with the worst economic downturn since its independence.

Sri Lanka's capital Colombo was placed under indefinite curfew in the wake of the violence.

The current crisis has its roots in the Lankan government's move to ban imports back in March 2020. The move was meant to save foreign currency for the government's $51 billion debt. But this led to a widespread shortage of essential items and skyrocketing prices.

The government has said it is seeking a bailout from the International Monetary Fund. It has also sought loans from India and China.

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TAGS:Srilanka Curfew Economic crisis 
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