Sri Lanka news: The President (of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa) would announce a state of emergency with effect from midnight today, according to the DailyMirror, quoting the President’s Media Division on Friday.
Earlier in the day, Sri Lankan student activists threatened to lay siege to Parliament as trade unions launched a crippling island-wide strike to demand the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his government for their inability to address the country’s economic meltdown, which has caused unprecedented hardships for the public.
The administration of Sri Lanka has been facing a surge of protests across the country, with an increasingly enraged population demanding its resignation.
The strike has been joined by all trade unions representing health, postal, port, and other government services. Several pro-ruling party labour unions, however, have declined to join.
Businesses remained closed, and roads in normally congested areas appeared deserted.
The administration announced an emergency Cabinet meeting to review the country’s condition.
Protesters have been living near the presidential secretariat at the ‘Gota go home gama’ or Gotabaya Go home village since April 9, and in the ‘Mynah go home village’ or ‘Mahinda Go Home Village’ since April 26.
Sri Lanka is currently experiencing unparalleled economic turbulence since its independence from the United Kingdom in 1948. The problem is exacerbated in part by a scarcity of foreign cash meant that the country cannot afford to pay for imports of staple foods and fuel, leading to acute shortages and very high prices.