UpdateSri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has declared a state of emergency for at least two weeks. Protests and riots are the cause of the country’s deep economic crisis. Inflation is around 19 percent and there is an acute shortage of food and fuel.
In recent days, protesters have also raided the official residence of the president. The demonstrators threw stones at the police and set five cars on fire, after which the police fired tear gas. More than 30 protesters and at least 24 police officers were injured and 53 people were arrested.
With the state of emergency, the president hopes to restore and maintain order in his country. In any case, one of his first measures based on the emergency is to close from Saturday evening to Monday morning. Several demonstrations are still scheduled for this weekend, including on Sunday in the capital, Colombo.
In addition to high inflation, the country also suffers from significant shortages of energy, food, medicine and fuel. The island of 22 million people has seen 70 percent of its foreign means of payment evaporate within two years and can no longer afford to import essential products.
Sri Lanka has already turned to China, India and the International Monetary Fund for help. India bailed out with a €900 million loan to ship rice and other basic needs to Sri Lanka, among other things. Rice is already twice as expensive as it was a year ago.
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