News Analysis

President Rajapaksa declares emergency in crisis-hit Sri Lanka but protesters not backing down

Police use water canon to disperse university students during a protest in Colombo on May 6, 2022. PHOTO: AFP
Policemen stand guard outside Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's office in Colombo on May 7, 2022. PHOTO: AFP
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BANGALORE - Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's declaration of a state of emergency has changed little on the ground - protests continue to demand he quit, a political stalemate continues, and fuel and food shortages only worsen.

Protests blame the president and his brother, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, for the country's worst economic crisis, inflation that has skyrocketed to 30 per cent, half-day brownouts and drained currency reserves.

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