Sri Lanka declares Emergency amid economic crisis

 Sri Lanka is facing its worst-ever economic crisis. On Thursday, the protesters staged a massive protest outside the house of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Protest erupts in Colombo amid economic downturn (pic; social media)

Colombo: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared a public Emergency in Sri Lanka on Friday with effect from April 1.

Declaring Emergency, Rajapaksa in a gazette notification said, “I am of opinion that by reason of public emergency in Sri Lanka, it is expedient, so to do, in the interest of public security, the protection of public order and the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community.”

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This comes a day after thousands of protesters descended on the streets of the Sri Lankan capital to protest against the rising prices of essential commodities amid the worst-ever economic crisis in the country.

On Thursday, the protesters staged a massive protest outside the house of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, waved posters and raised slogans, said sources. Reports of scuffle between protesters and the police also came in even as the law enforcement agencies tried to pacify the angry protesters.

The country has been facing massive power cuts these days as the government is unable to make payments for fuel imports because of a lack of foreign exchange. The government has also announced 10-hour daily power cuts.

“We have already instructed officials to shut off street lights around the country to help conserve power,” Sri Lankan Power Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi told the media.

 The country is facing its worst-ever economic crisis since independence as there has been a steep hike in the prices of food items and other essential commodities in the country. Shortage of fuel, natural gas has also been reported these days, resulting in a massive outrage among the people against the government.

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has also cut down daily trading to two hours from the usual four-and-a-half because of the power cuts for the rest of this week at the request of brokers, the bourse said in a statement.

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