Sri Lanka Faces Growing Protests Over Economic Crisis

Sri Lanka Faces Growing Protests Over Economic Crisis

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Sri Lanka’s entire cabinet, with the exception of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his brother, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, as the country faces protests over a growing economic crisis that has seen food, fuel, and medicine shortages, as well as inflation. Protests have been ongoing since mid-March and have largely been made up of supporters of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya opposition party calling for the resignation of President Rajapaksa. Demonstrations remained almost entirely peaceful until Thursday March 31, when protestors marching in front of the President’s house in the capital of Colombo were met by a large security force that deployed tear gas and water cannons to disperse crowds, which resulted in clashes that caused dozens of injuries and hundreds of arrests. A state of emergency was issued the next day on April 1, in which a 36 hour curfew was also implemented while most social media platforms were blocked. Due to the regular use of VPN services in the country, the bans had little effect and spontaneous protests continue across the capital and Kandy, the country’s largest city, in defiance of the curfew.

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