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Sri Lanka economic crisis: Cops fire tear gas, water cannons to quell protests in front of PM's | top updates

 Sri Lanka desperately needs foreign currency to pay for even the most essential imports. 

Sri Lanka economic crisis: Social media banned, curfew imposed, top updates
Colombo, First Published Apr 3, 2022, 10:09 AM IST

In the latest attempt to quash the protests against Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the country's government has blocked access to all social media platforms, citing widespread unrest over the economic crisis. 

Here's the highlight

  • Sri Lanka's largest opposition party rejected an invitation from the president on Monday to form a unity government, as protests continued throughout the country over its worst economic crisis in memory and deepening mistrust in his leadership.
  • Sri Lankan police fired tear gas and water cannons at some 2,000 irate protesters who defied curfew orders and tried to storm Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa's residence in Tangalle on Monday, demanding his resignation amid the worst economic crisis in the country.  
  • Following the government statement released late on Saturday, access to all the social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and YouTube, has been blocked. The Lankan government said that the decision was considered to stop misinformation. 
  • A 36-hours long curfew has already been imposed in the nation of 22 million. It began on Saturday at 6 pm and will conclude on Monday at 6 am, covering major anti-government protests amid rising fuel, food, and medication shortages.
  • The Curfew and state of emergency were imposed as social media posts called for protests on Sunday. 
  • As per the statement, it allows the military to arrest and detain suspects for a long time without trial. Rajapaksa explained that the state of emergency was the need to protect public order and maintain essential supplies and services.
  • Sri Lanka desperately needs foreign currency to pay for even the most essential imports. As per the police and citizens, hundreds of people have disobeyed the curfew and assembled in many suburban villages.
  • The two hashtags, #GoHomeRajapaksas" and "#GotaGoHome", have been trending on Twitter and Facebook in Sri Lanka, presently battling severe shortages of essentials and intense price rises and crippling power cuts in its most painful downturn. 
  • The ongoing problem, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted tourism and remittances, is the product of economic mismanagement by successive governments.
  • It also represents a significant shift in political support for Mr Rajapaksa, who came to power, pledging stability in 2019.
  • The Lankan government stated it's seeking a bailout from the International Monetary Fund and loans from India and China. India announced financial assistance of USD 1 billion lines of credit to Colombo to deal with the economic crisis following a previous USD 500 billion line of credit (LoC) in February to aid it to buy petroleum products.
  • On Saturday, India supplied 40,000 metric tonnes of diesel to Sri Lanka, the fourth shipment from New Delhi to help the island nation cope with the recent surge in power outages.

Also Read: Sri Lanka economic crisis deepens: Late-night protests, firing and curfew

Also Read: Sri Lanka plunges into deep fuel crisis, power cut extended to 10-hour daily

Also Read: Unity and cooperation need of the hour, says PM Modi at BIMSTEC summit

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