The first death toll in protests against the economic crisis in Sri Lanka

ISLAMABAD, April 21 (Alliance News): One person was killed and 24 were injured in the first deadly clash between anti-government protesters and police over the ongoing economic crisis in Sri Lanka.

The South Asian nation is in the grip of the worst economic crisis since independence in 1948, with regular blackouts and widespread shortages of fuel and other commodities, according to foreign media report.

Massive protests have demanded the resignation of the government, which is preparing to negotiate an urgent bailout with the International Monetary Fund.

The police run directly to the crowds who had closed the railway line and highway to the main city candy to protest against oil shortages and extremist prices.

One person was shot dead, a hospital official said.

A hospital official said 16 more protesters were injured in the firing and violence, eight of whom needed immediate emergency surgery, while eight more policemen were injured.

Police said the mob was about to set fire to a tanker loaded with diesel when officials used tear gas to disperse them in the town of Rambukana, 95km east of the capital.

Instead of dispersing, the mob started pelting stones, police spokesman Nihal Thaldova said in a statement, adding that police officers opened fire on them, prompting an indefinite curfew in the area. ۔

Local media reports said the protesters hurled tear gas shells back at them during the street fights.

The protest was one of several demonstrations and gatherings in other Sri Lankan cities on Tuesday as the country’s main petrol retailer raised prices by about 65 percent.

Local media footage showed dozens of police officers in protective clothing throwing tear gas at the crowd, and a senior officer shouted and ordered the attack, firing tear gas, firing and chasing them.

The protesters had stopped the dishes of roads and trains till the firing at the time of firing.

Footage from a local hospital showed victims being taken to a facility and a man pleading for treatment for his brother, who was shot in the abdomen.

US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung said she was “deeply saddened” by the incident and condemned all forms of violence.

The Sri Lankan Bar Association also called for an impartial inquiry into the violence, saying a full, transparent investigation was needed and that the people’s right to peaceful protest should be upheld.

For more than a week now, a large crowd has been camping outside the office of President Gotabaya Raja Pakse in the capital, Colombo, demanding the president’s resignation.

Doctors at Sri Lanka’s Central Children’s Hospital also protested on Tuesday over severe shortages of medicines and equipment.

Gotabaya Raja Pakse, while acknowledging the public outrage over the mismanagement of the ruling family, said, “People are suffering because of the economic crisis and I am deeply sorry for that.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here