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Sri Lankan police break up protest with tear gas an water cannons

Sri Lanka’s police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse an opposition protest today in the island nation facing its worst economic crisis while gearing up for a national election later this year.

Protesters from the main opposition United People’s Power party gathered in the capital, Colombo, and accused President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s administration of overburdening citizens by increasing taxes, as well as hiking prices for electricity and fuel, causing a sharp spike in living costs.

Opposition lawmaker Sarath Fonseka said: “The government is not concerned with the people suffering and being unable to provide for themselves.

“People can no longer pay their bills or buy their children school supplies.”

He said: “People must rise” and vote against the current government in the coming election.

Earlier today, at two courts prohibited protesters from marching along roads leading to vital buildings including the president’s office, finance ministry and the central bank.

Instead, two areas in the capital were assigned for the protest.

The opposition said that it had planned more protests across the country in the coming weeks.

Sri Lanka plunged into its worst-ever economic crisis in 2022.

It had declared bankruptcy in April ,the same year with more than £68 billion in debt, leading to protests that caused the ousting of then-president Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Source: Morning Star Online