With curfew in force, Sri Lanka's capital wears deserted look
COLOMBO:The streets of Colombo wore a deserted look, resembling a "no man's land" here on Sunday as a curfew was imposed on the city on top of a 36-hour nationwide curfew already in force following protests outside the residence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The cars in the city were all parked in the parking lot and the roads remain deserted, with police forces and army personnel stationed everywhere in the city and checking the vehicles.
Protests were nevertheless held in the city and throughout the country, with people breaking the curfew.
Protests staged by the public were reported from small streets, apartment complexes, and multiple areas around the country, the Colombo Gazette reported.
The Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) also staged a protest in Colombo today against the Government with slogans of "Go Gotabaya Go", referring to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Sri Lanka on Sunday arrested over 600 protestors violating the curfew in Western Province imposed from 6 pm from Saturday to 6 am on Monday.
The police said that 664 individuals were arrested in the Western Province between 10.00 pm last night and 6.00 am today, reported Colombo Gazette.
During the protests, an allegedly intoxicated 53-year-old male committed suicide in front of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's house in Mirihana, local police informed.
Ahead of a planned 'Arab Spring" style protest for Sunday, the island nation had imposed a nationwide curfew starting at 6 pm in the evening on Saturday till morning 6 am on Monday (April 4) following unrest in the country with protests outside the residence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa amid the ongoing economic crisis in the Island country.
To counter the protests, the Sri Lankan government also imposed a nationwide social media blackout after midnight on Sunday, April 3, according to an internet observatory.
Some two dozen social media platforms were affected including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok, and Instagram.
Sri Lanka is presently facing a foreign exchange shortage which has led to a food, fuel, power, and gas shortage, and has sought the assistance of friendly countries for economic assistance.
Sri Lanka is witnessing long hours of daily power cuts. The country's currency has also been devalued by almost SLR 90 against the US dollar since March 8.