Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has declared a state of emergency from midnight amid protests against a massive economic crisis. This is the second time President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared an emergency in five weeks with increasing anti-government protests.
“I am of opinion that by reason of a public emergency in Sri Lanka, it is expedient, so to do, in the interests of public security, the protection of public order, and the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community,” he stated in the gazette notification on imposing of emergency regulation.
The police fired tear gas and water cannon at students that tried to storm Sri Lanka’s parliament. The trade union strike demanded the government step down. Due to months of blackouts and food shortages, public anger has grown big triggering the protests demanding the government’s resignation over its mismanagement of the crisis.
The trade union strike kept millions of workers away from the work.
The President insisted he will not step down despite the protests that have been camped outside his office for nearly a month. The government’s inability to pay for fuel imports, utilities have imposed daily blackouts to ration electricity. Hospitals don’t have stock of vital medicines.
While the government is asking for donations from abroad, the finance minister Ali Sabry warned this week that the country will have to endure its unprecedented economic hardships for at least two more years.