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Sri Lankan police imposed a curfew in several police divisions in the Western Province from 9 pm local time on Friday until further notice in the wake of widespread protests on Saturday demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The Colombo Page quoted police as saying that curfew has been imposed in Negombo, Kelaniya, Nugegoda, Mount Lavinia, Colombo North, Colombo South and Colombo Central police divisions.
Police said strict action would be taken against those violating the curfew. The Sri Lankan publication said that traveling in areas where a police curfew is in force is strictly prohibited and the police have advised people to use other alternative routes.
The deteriorating economic situation in Sri Lanka has increased tensions in the past weeks. There have been several reports of confrontations between individuals and members of the police force and the armed forces at fuel stations, with thousands of people standing in queues for hours and sometimes days. The police have at times used tear gas and water cannons in an unnecessary and disproportionate manner. On several occasions, the armed forces have also fired ammunition.