Sri Lankan demonstrators clash with police in violent protest over economic crisis

Updated: Apr 01, 2022, 05:03 PM(IST)

A protest by hundreds of people trying to storm the home of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa turned violent, with at least one man critically wounded, as residents slammed the government's handling of the country's crippling economic crisis.

Let's take  a look at it:

Police uses tear gas and water cannon

Security forces fired into the crowd and used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the demonstrators, who were demanding Rajapaksa's resignation.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Protesters set fire to an army bus

Protesters set fire to an army bus parked across the lane leading to Rajapaksa's home in Colombo's Mirihana residential quarter, as well as a police vehicle. They also toppled a neighbour's wall and used bricks to attack officers and troops.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Blackouts for up to 13 hours a day

The island of 22 million people is experiencing rolling blackouts for up to 13 hours a day because the government does not have enough foreign exchange for fuel imports.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Street lights turned off to save electricity

The government is turning off street lights to save electricity, Power Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi told reporters, as a continuing shortage of diesel brought more power cuts and halted trading on the main stock market.

The power cuts add to the pain of Sri Lankans already dealing with shortages of essentials and rocketing prices.

(Photograph:AFP)

Inflation hits all time high

Retail inflation hit 18.7 per cent in March over the same period a year ago, as per the Sri Lankan statistics department.

Meanwhile, food inflation reached 30.2 per cent in March, partly driven by a currency devaluation and last year's ban on chemical fertilisers that was later reversed.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Foreign exchange reserves dropping by 70%

The crisis is a result of badly-timed tax cuts and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic coupled with historically weak government finances, leading to foreign exchange reserves dropping by 70 per cent in the last two years.

(Photograph:AFP)

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