Colombo: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Tuesday extended the national curfew until Wednesday morning amid ongoing protests over economic and political crises.
“I instruct everybody not to use any public roads, railways, public parks, public recreation areas or other public territories or the seashore from 19:00 on May 9 to 07:00 on May 11,” Sputnik quoted the presidential decree. The developments come as nationwide protests against the government have intensified over the past few days resulting in an increase in incidents of clashes.
The clashes in Colombo, which took place on Monday, killed seven people and injured 231, with 218 of them hospitalized, Sputnik reported citing the Sri Lankan media outlet.
Earlier, Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s residence in the city of Kurunegala in the north-western province was set on fire, hours after the leader tendered his resignation to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, as the country goes through an intensified civil strife amid a crippling economic crisis.
Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence with food and fuel shortages, soaring prices and power cuts affecting a large number of the citizens, resulting in massive protests over the government’s handling of the situation.
The recession is attributed to foreign exchange shortages caused by a fall in tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as reckless economic policies, like the government’s move last year to ban chemical fertilizers in a bid to make Sri Lanka’s agriculture “100 per cent organic”.
Due to an acute shortage of foreign exchange, Sri Lanka recently defaulted on the entirety of its foreign debt amounting to about USD 51 billion. (ANI)
first published:May 10, 2022, 2:44 p.m.