Sri Lanka: Government Orders Crackdown On Protesters

By S. E. Flynn, The Chicago Times

July 9, 2022

COLOMBO – Government police imposed a curfew in Sri Lanka’s capital and surrounding areas on Friday as planned protests for the resignation of the country’s president and prime minister grow louder as a result of the economic crisis and severe shortages of goods.

According to interviews, protesters believe President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe are responsible for the economic crisis.  Sri Lanka has been experiencing severe shortages of goods and energy.  Many opposition activists announced that thousands will continue to protest on Saturday despite the curfew.  Many believe the curfew is illegal and a violation of human rights.

“Get on to the streets tomorrow. Defy the dictatorship and join with the people to make democracy victorious.” Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa said on Twitter.

Sri Lanka is the midst of an economic crisis that includes massive shortages of goods and fuel to operate power stations and transportation.  There have been reports of daily rationing  of electrical power and citizens waiting hours to purchase gasoline and other goods.  In addition, Sri Lanka has suspended repayments of $7 billion in foreign debt due this year.  Without the ability to repay debts, Sri Lanka will be unable to import fuel, food, and medicine.

President Rajapaksa admitted he did not take steps to prevent the economic collapse and bluntly stated he will not leave office and ordered police to tear gas protestors.