Amid the unprecedented economic crisis sweeping the tiny island nation, president Gotabaya Rajapaksha has declared a state of emergency after hundreds of protestors took to the street. The law invoked by the rulers gives extraordinary powers to the military forces to arrest and imprison suspects for a long period without trial.
Facing the worst ever crisis in it’s existence since independence from Britain in 1948, 22 million Sri Lankans are undergoing terrible shortages of essential commodities and unending power cuts. The mismanagement of the economy and misplaced priorities of the Government over several years has weakened the structure from within and the utter collapse is already in the sight.
People are becoming restless and the mobs are turning violent in places. The government has reimposed a night curfew in the western province including the capital, Colombo.
In the towns of Galle, Matara and Moratuwa also the protestors called for the resignation of the president. The Rajapaksha family is in all major positions of power in Sri Lanka. Mahinda Rajapakshe, brother of the president serves as prime minister and another brother is the finance minister. Yet another brother and a nephew also hold cabinet positions.
Hundreds of people gathered around the house of the president shouting slogans that told him to step down. 53 persons were arrested and at least two were wounded in the skirmishes with the law and order forces.
Inflation in Sri Lanka is 18.7 per cent in March and food prices soared a record 30.1 per cent. Ban is imposed on imports in March 2020 as foreign currency is needed to repay roughly 7 billion dollars this year to service its total debt of 51 billion dollars.