Water, milk, medicines in short supply as crisis deepens in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s economic crisis is deepening. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Saturday declared a state of emergency after a day of violent protests outside his residence. As police officials and protesters clashed, Sri Lanka authorities imposed a 36-hour curfew to curb more protests over food, fuel and power shortages.
Sri Lanka’s economic woes are blamed on successive governments not diversifying exports and relying on traditional cash sources like tea, garments and tourism, and on a culture of consuming imported goods.
The Covid-19 pandemic dealt a heavy blow to Sri Lanka’s economy, with the government estimating a loss of $14 billion in the last two years.
Several people were injured and vehicles were set on fire as the agitation over the economic situation turned violent on Friday. Police fired tear gas and water cannons at the protesters after they pulled down a steel barricade placed near the president’s residence. Following the incident, several people were arrested and a curfew was briefly imposed in most parts of Colombo city.
A statement issued by the government said an extremist group was behind the unrest near President Rajapaksa’s residence in Mirihana.