Sri Lanka Imposes Curfew in Colombo after Protests over Economic Crisis

Photo: AP

Colombo, MINA – Sri Lanka has imposed a curfew in the capital Colombo after protesters tried to storm the private residence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

As quoted from Anadolu Agency on Friday, Hundreds of people gathered near Rajapaksa’s residence during the day to protest against the country’s economic crisis, which has resulted in 13-hour-long rolling blackouts.

Police Inspector General C.D. Wickramaratne said late Thursday in a statement that the curfew will last “until further notice” in several areas of Colombo.

The protesters, which were exposed to tear gas fired by police, were chanting “Go home Gota!” and “Gota is a dictator.”

Sri Lanka, which needs to repay an estimated $7.3 billion in domestic and foreign loans over the next 12 months, was left with reserves of $2.31 billion as of February and may go bankrupt.

Protesters claim that the Rajapaksa administration’s improper practices caused the country’s foreign exchange reserves to deplete rapidly, severely impacting essential imports and leading to price increases for staple foods and shortages of essential items such as cooking gas and fuel.

Although the government declared a state of emergency to contain skyrocketing prices of essential items due to stockpiling, it has been largely unsuccessful. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)