In Sri Lanka, hours after the president declared a state of emergency, armed forces with the power to arrest suspects were dispatched.
In Sri Lanka, President Gotabhaya Rajapakse has mobilized the army after declaring a state of emergency on Friday evening, the day after hundreds of protesters tried to enter his home against food, fuel and drug shortages.
He justified his decision by “maintaining public order and maintaining goods and services essential to the life of the community.” Troops with automatic weapons were previously dispatched to control the crowd at petrol stations and elsewhere, but more were on Saturday. “Before the state of emergency, the army could not act alone and the police had to play a supporting role, but since Friday, it has been alone and has more powers,” a police official explained.
The measures come ahead of anti-government protests scheduled for Sunday, with social media activists urging people to protest outside their homes.
Vehicles and bricks were set on fire by police
The curfew imposed for the second night on Friday was relaxed at dawn on Saturday. At the night of Thursday to Friday, hundreds of demonstrators marched towards his home demanding the resignation of President Kotapaya Rajapaksa, and previously applied police tear gas and waters. The mob set fire to two military buses, a police jeep and other vehicles and threw bricks at officers. The Sri Lankan president’s office on Friday condemned protesters seeking to create the “Arab Spring”.
The country of 22 million people is facing the worst economic crisis since independence in 1948, with severe shortages of essential commodities, rising prices and long power cuts. Epidemiology and authorities have imposed a broad ban on imports in an attempt to save foreign currency.
Many economists say the crisis has been exacerbated by mismanagement by the government, rising debt and ill-advised tax cuts.
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