Sri Lanka deploys troops to quell protests

Sri Lanka deploys troops to quell protests

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has issued a 36-hour curfew. Demonstrators protesting against the lack of food, fuel and medicine.

The Sri Lankan authorities announced, on Saturday, the imposition of a curfew for 36 hours, in the wake of the protest movement sparked by the serious economic crisis in the country. Police said the curfew will be in effect from Saturday evening until Monday morning.

The armed forces with sweeping powers to arrest suspects were earlier deployed in Sri Lanka on Saturday, hours later. After declaring a state of emergency by the president because of the escalation of protests against him.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared a state of emergency on Friday evening, a day after hundreds of protesters attempted to storm his home to protest food, fuel and medicine shortages. The head of state justified his decision with:Protection of public order and maintenance of supplies and services essential to community life“.

see also – ‘This is the worst crisis since independence’: Clashes in Sri Lanka after power cuts and food shortages

Troops with automatic weapons have previously been deployed to control crowds at gas stations and elsewhere, but there were more on Saturday.

In normal times, the military cannot act alone and has to content itself with supporting the police, but with a state of emergency, it can intervene on its own, especially to arrest civilians.

The country of 22 million people is facing severe shortages of basic commodities, soaring prices and Long power outageDuring the worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948.

Tourism and expatriate remittances, which are vital to the economy, have collapsed during the pandemic and authorities have imposed a sweeping import ban in a bid to save foreign currency.

Many economists say the crisis has been exacerbated by government mismanagement, mounting debt and unwise tax cuts. Rajapaksa’s office on Friday accused the protesters of wanting to establish “Arab Spring“.

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