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sri lanka: Crisis-hit Sri Lanka under 36-hour curfew


Sri Lanka issued a nationwide 36-hour curfew until Monday in addition to the state of emergency declared by the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa as it tried to prevent more unrest after protesters took to the streets, blaming the government for an economic crisis that left the import-dependent nation with little money left to buy food and fuel.
The government’s chief information officer Mohan Samaranayake said in a statement that the curfew was being imposed according to the powers vested in the president. Gotabaya was given emergency powers at midnight Friday amid public calls for nationwide protests on Sunday as anger over shortages of essential food, fuel and power cuts persisted this week. prompting him to call for his resignation. Amid unrest and violence, the Liberal Party of former Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena has called on Gotabaya to form an all-party government to tackle the country’s worst economic crisis and said it can leave the alliance if their request is ignored. India intervened to help its southern neighbour.
Indian traders have begun loading 40,000 tonnes of rice for fast delivery to Sri Lanka in the first major round of food aid since Colombo secured a line of credit from New Delhi. The shipments come ahead of a key festival in Sri Lanka and could help Colombo lower the price of rice, which has doubled in a year, adding fuel to the unrest. BV Krishna Rao, CEO of Agricultural food Pattabhi (Andhra Pradesh), which is supplying rice to Sri Lanka State Trading (General) Corp under the India Credit Agreement.
A shipment of 40,000 tonnes of diesel oil from India arrived in Sri Lanka on Saturday, the fourth from India. Officials of the state fuel agency, Ceylon Power Board, said India’s diesel supplies will ease power cuts. The time of the power outage effective from Saturday is more than 8 hours. Sri Lanka faces huge debt obligations and dwindling foreign exchange reserves, and the country’s struggle to pay for imports has caused an underlying supply shortage. People wait in long lines to buy gas and there is not enough fuel to run power plants. On Thursday, angry mobs protested along the roads leading to Gotabaya’s residence on the outskirts of Colombo and stoned two army buses that our police were using to block their way.
Protesters set a bus on fire. The president’s office blamed “organized extremists” among thousands of protesters for the violence. Senior police spokesman Ajith Rohana said 24 police officers and several civilians were injured. About $132,000 in public property was damaged, he said, and the suspects will be charged. Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defense has denied rumors on social media that Indian troops have come to the island nation to help maintain law and order. The High Commission of India has also issued a statement dismissing the reports.
The declaration of emergency gives Gotabaya the powers to maintain public order, suppress mutinies, riots or civil disturbances, or to maintain essential supplies. The President may authorize detention, confiscation of property, and searches of premises. He can also change or suspend any law except the constitution.





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