Colombo [Sri Lanka], September 24 (ANI): A total of 84 people have been arrested by Sri Lankan police as several protestors gathered in Colombo raising their voice against what they claimed was "suppression", media reports said.
The protest was organized by the Socialist Youth Union in Colombo. However, it soon turned tense as police fired tear gas and used water canons to disperse protestors at Dean's Road, Maradana in Colombo, reported The Daily Mirror.
Among those arrested were two monks and four females, the media outlet said citing police. Several protestors also got injured and were admitted to the Colombo National Hospital.
According to the Sri Lankan outlet, NewsWire the people were holding a protest raising their voice against "suppression".
While the police fired tear gas, a few protestors sought shelter inside the Viharamahadevi Park, which was recently announced as an alternative site to stage protests. The Police withdrew after the protesters entered the park.
On Friday, an Extraordinary Gazette notification was issued by President Ranil Wickremesinghe declaring several areas in Colombo as high-security zones.
Wickremesinghe issued the notice declaring several areas in Colombo as High-Security Zones including the area surrounding the Parliament Complex, Presidential Secretariat and President's House.
Sri Lanka continues to reel under a severe economic crisis. Earlier, protesting the dire conditions, Sri Lankan protesters had broken into then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's private residence and set it on fire. They were angered by the unprecedented economic crisis.
During those protests, several journalists were also attacked by the security forces after which more protestors gathered in the area. Notably, Sri Lanka is suffering its worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948, which comes on the heels of successive waves of COVID-19, threatening to undo years of development progress and severely undermining the country's ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Sri Lanka has been suffering a diesel shortage since February, which led to hours of daily power cuts. At present, Sri Lanka is struggling with acute food and electricity shortages, forcing the country to seek help from its neighbours.
India has been at forefront of extending economic assistance to Sri Lanka as per their requirements and is one of the countries that have provided the maximum amount of assistance in time of need. In 2022, India extended around USD four billion in bilateral assistance to Sri Lanka. (ANI)