Newshub18 :Protests at fuel stations in Sri Lanka, army firing
Clashes erupted between protesters and crowds at an energy station in Sri Lanka. The country’s army fired blank shots at the protesters. Protesters also hurled stones at the troops. Four civilians and three army personnel were injured in the clashes. Officials said this on Sunday. News AFP.
Sri Lanka’s biggest economic crisis since independence in 1947. Due to the foreign exchange reserves, the government has not been able to import food, medicine and fuel. Unprecedented long queues of people are being formed at the fuel stations to collect petrol and diesel. Army and police have been deployed at these stations to deal with the situation.
After a long wait at such a station on Saturday night, local time, shoppers can know that the fuel is gone. After hearing this, they became upset. At that time, the agitated crowd started clashing with the army members. At one point the soldiers fired blank shots.
The incident took place at a fuel station in the Visuvamadhu area, 365 km north of Colombo. Sri Lankan army spokesman Nilantha Premaratne told AFP that 20 to 30 people hurled stones at a military vehicle, damaging it.
Police say four civilians and three army members were injured in the incident. This is the first time the army has fired blank shots to quell unrest. Earlier in April, a motorcyclist was shot dead by police during a clash over petrol and diesel distribution in the town of Rambukkana.
Police say they collided with motorists in three places over the weekend. At least six constables were injured and seven motorists were arrested in the clashes.
At the beginning of the week, the weekly holiday in the country was extended by one day to three days to save energy. Despite this, people were seen waiting in long lines at petrol stations last Friday. Many motorcyclists claim that they have been waiting for petrol for several days.
Due to the acute shortage of petrol and diesel, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Public Administration has directed all departments, government agencies and local authorities to restrict traffic from Monday