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Troops have been deployed to Sri Lanka

Troops have been deployed to Sri Lanka

Troops have been deployed to Sri Lanka
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Soldiers stood behind wrought-iron barricades and next to burned-out buses in the heart of Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, on Wednesday, guarding nearly deserted streets following a flurry of fatal battles.

Troops halted the occasional car as it drove by long rows of closed stores, casting watchful glances over its passengers as they enforced a statewide curfew established to prevent mob unrest.

Weeks of overwhelmingly peaceful protests over Sri Lanka’s crippling economic crisis erupted on Monday, with at least nine people dead and enraged crowds torching government MPs’ homes.

After failing to quell unrest for the past two days, security forces have been told to shoot anyone who sets fire or commits more violence on sight.

“The situation is getting better and we are hopeful of lifting the curfew by tomorrow morning,” the country’s defence commander, Kamal Gunaratne, told reporters on Wednesday.

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Small groups of young men were still observed walking the streets of Colombo late Tuesday following the defence ministry’s pronouncement, defying the 24-hour stay-at-home order.

A crowd had created an unofficial checkpoint on the motorway leading to Sri Lanka’s main airport farther north, halting cars to search for government figures after rumours that they were planning to depart the country.

Jessica Fernando, a participant in anti-government protests, told AFP, “This regime has a problematic history with using a military presence to silence the people.”

“I don’t think this is the way to calm people.”

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