Protests have been taking place in Sri Lanka for the past several weeks. (Photo: AP)
The meetings protest has been going on across the South Asian island nation of 22 million for the past several weeks. Protesters expressed anger at the government’s inefficient handling of the economy, leading to shortages of essentials and prolonged power cuts.
Mihiri Priyangani, Director of Kegalle Teaching Hospital, said that at least one protester was killed and 12 injured people were hospitalized, including two in critical condition, after clashes between people broke out. Protesters and police in the central town of Rambukkana.
Priyangani told Reuters that the victim, the first since peaceful protests began in March, was likely shot: “We are suspecting a wound. gunshot wounds but an autopsy is needed to confirm the exact cause of death.”
Protesters outside the office of the President of Sri Lanka in the capital Colombo, March 15, 2022. (Photo: AP)
Police spokesman Nalin Thalduwa added that the chaos broke out after police asked protesters to move away from a key railway line they had blocked off for hours.
“To control the situation, the police fired on the protesters,” Thalduwa told Reuters. “Several injured police officers were also hospitalized. Live ammunition and tear gas were used to repel the crowd throwing rocks and other objects. Police are still in the area and trying to contain the protesters. love”.
Political instability is a serious risk as Sri Lanka seeks to negotiate a loan program from the IMF. A delegation led by Finance Minister Ali Sabry began formal talks with the IMF in Washington on April 18.
The Sri Lankan government is seeking support to help increase foreign exchange reserves and attract bridge financing to pay for imports of essential fuel, food and medicine.
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