Sri Lanka’s political crisis continues with huge walkout

Sri Lanka declares state of emergency, photo by Kajeel Times.

After Sri Lanka declared a state of emergency earlier this month, the world has seen massive political unrest in the country as protestors call on the president and his powerful family to step down. Last week, Sri Lankan police shot and killed a protestor in an incident that quickly spread across social media. Today (Thursday), Sri Lankan workers participated in mass walkouts.

Workers including teachers, bank employees, and train drivers marched to the president’s office, and thousands of people went out in the streets throughout Sri Lanka. This follows skyrocketing prices in the country, and a lack of fuel.

Last month, Sri Lanka experienced the longest blackout ever recorded in the country. Many state-run hospitals had to stop surgeries because they had run out of life-saving medicines. This was on top of a shortage of essential goods, and high price spikes, caused by a broad import ban imposed in 2020 due to Sri Lanka’s debt.

Sri Lanka’s president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, says he is willing to form an interim government with a new prime minister and cabinet. However, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is his elder brother, has declined to step down.

When Sri Lankan police shot and killed a protestor last week, police said he had refused to move from a railway line and had parked a fuel truck across the tracks. They said firing teargas at the crowd appeared to provoke the protestor, and they responded by firing live rounds.

SOURCE: Reuters

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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