From deprivation to protest: Sri Lanka announces curfew after violent protests


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At least five people died in street clashes. Although the prime minister resigned, hundreds of protesters tried to enter his house, for which he had to be pulled out.

police
Clashes between police and protesters in Colombo.AFP

In a matter of weeks, peace has definitely been shattered in this tiny island country in South Asia. The acute shortage of food, fuel and medicine has caused huge discontent among the population, which blames the powerful Rajapaksa clan for the crisis.

This Tuesday, the officials of Sri Lanka Thousands of soldiers and police were deployed to enforce a nationwide curfew after five people died against the new.

violence that ended about 200 injuredled to the resignation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, but it did little to stem the outcry from protesters, who They forcibly tried to break into his official residence.

Heavily armed soldiers had to come to his rescue as protesters broke into the main gate of his residence in Colombo and tried to enter the building where Rajapaksa and his family had taken refuge. “After the morning operation, the army evacuated the former prime minister and his family to a safe place,” a senior security official said. “At least 10 Molotov cocktails were thrown on the premises,” he said.

power ofel clan rajapakse after wobble Months of blackouts and product shortages On this island of 22 million people in the south of India, which is facing its worst economic crisis since independence in 1948.

“They beat us, they beat women and children”

Despite frequent calls for his resignation, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa (the former prime minister’s brother) remains in office and controls the security forces. On Friday he declared a state of emergency Strengthen your powers.

After largely peaceful anti-government protests, violence hit the streets of Colombo on Monday as supporters of Mahinda Rajapaksa (who was also president from 2005 to 2015) attacked opposition protesters with sticks and clubs. “They beat us, they beat the media, they beat women and children,” one witness said on condition of anonymity.

Police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd and announced an immediate curfew in the capital, which was later extended across the country.

Officials indicated that it would remain in place till Wednesday morning, till then government and private offices, shops and schools would remain closed.

Nevertheless, the protesters violated the curfew to take revenge on the pro-government militants. Dozens of houses of Rajapaksa loyalists were burntAs well as car, bus or truck in and around Colombo.

Police had to fire tear gas shells at the prime minister’s residence and fire warning shells to control the crowd trying to enter the premises.

Mahinda Rajapaksa spoke of stepping down to pave the way for a unity government. But it was not clear whether the opposition would join a new executive as it had in the past refused to align itself with any member of the extended family.

With the Sri Lankan political system, even in a unity government, The President retains the power to appoint and fire ministers and judges. and enjoy immunity from prosecution.

For months, this small island country in South Asia has been grappling with acute shortages of food, fuel and medicine.

The economic fallout began to be felt when the coronavirus pandemic cut income from tourism and remittances and led the government to ban many imports to curb the flight of foreign currency. An estimated foreign debt of $51,000 million led the government to order a payment moratorium on 12 April.

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