Sri Lanka declares curfew in capital ahead of planned protests

Sri Lanka declares curfew in capital ahead of planned protests

Starting at 9 p.m. local time Friday, curfew will continue 'until further notice,' police say

By Handan Kazanci

ISTANBUL (AA) - Police in Sri Lanka declared a curfew Friday in the nation’s capital of Colombo, ahead of planned protests for the weekend.

Starting at 9 p.m. local time (1530GMT) Friday, the curfew will continue "until further notice" in police divisions of Negombo, Kelaniya, Nugegoda, Mt., Colombo North, Colombo Central and Colombo South, police said in a statement.

Police urged residents to stay in their homes, adding that "travel through areas where police curfew is in force is completely prohibited."

Crippled by a shortage of foreign exchange, the island nation of 22 million has defaulted on all of its foreign debt.

It has been unable to pay for fuel and other essentials, resulting in anti-government protests. A lack of fuel to run power stations has in turn led to daily power cuts. While schools have been shut, state employees have been asked to work from home.

The government is negotiating with the IMF for a bailout package.



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