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Sri Lankan police opens fire at anti-govt protesters; 1 killed, 12 injured


Colombo: At least one person was killed and 12 others injured when police opened fire to disperse angry anti-government protestors in Sri Lanka’s southwestern region of Rambukkana, on Tuesday. The residents were protesting the latest fuel price hike when they clashed with the police. One person was killed and 12 others injured in the firing, police said. The injured were admitted to Kegalle hospital. Four of them are in critical condition.

Scores of protesters teemed the streets and public places of Rambukkana town on Monday. The demonstration went late into the night. Police said the protesters blocked the railway track at Rambukkana. When they were asked to clear the rail line, they hurled stones at security personnel, police added.

Police Spokesperson Nihal Thalduwa said police issued warnings to the protestors to leave the area. However, the protestors attempted to set fire to a fuel bowser, as well as a three-wheeler causing damaging to property, Thalduwa was quoted as saying by News 1st channel. Thalduwa said that the police had opened fire after initially using tear gas to disperse the crowd and bring the situation under control.

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Sri Lanka is witnessing large-scale protests against the government’s handling of the debt-ridden economy – the worst-ever economic crisis in the country’s history. Sri Lanka is grappling with unprecedented economic turmoil since independence from Britain in 1948. The crisis is caused in part by a lack of foreign currency, which has meant that the country cannot afford to pay for imports of staple foods and fuel, leading to acute shortages and very high prices.


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