Hundreds of protestors gathered outside the residence of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday against government’s handling of the crippling economic crisis.
To disperse the crowd, security forces fired into the crowd but it was not clear if they had fired live rounds or rubber bullets. Tear gas and water cannon were also used against protestors demanding Rajapaksa’s resignation. Protesters also set fire to an army bus parked near Rajapaksa’s home in Colombo’s Mirihana residential quarter, as well as a police vehicle.
Police later imposed a curfew for the Colombo North, Colombo South, Colombo Central, Nugegoda, Kelaniya and Mount Lavinia police divisions and has been lifted from 5.00am today.
At least 10 people were injured including journalists after protests held outside the residence of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa turned violent. Protesters, some clad in motorcycle helmets, dismantled a wall and hurled bricks at police, before setting a bus alight on a road leading to Gotabaya's residence, a Reuters witness said. A bus attached to the Sri Lanka Army and a jeep were set on fire by protesters.
The country has been plagued by a shortage of reserves that led to a shortage of essentials such as Kerosene, Diesel, Petrol, Gas, and even medicines.
While the protest was taking place the supply of electricity for the entire Mirihana area was shut down, the first time since the power cuts came into effect, as Sri Lanka also struggles to import fuel to keep its power plant running.
Further, internet connectivity in some areas also was disrupted, for reasons unknown.
Diesel, the main fuel for buses and utility vehicles was not available at stations across the island on Thursday, officials and media said – crippling public transport.