Fuel shortage conflicts
The Sri Lankan army fired on protests for the first time
Riots erupt in Sri Lanka over fuel shortages. Soldiers open fire, the army must guard gas stations. The island state is in a financial crisis and cannot afford to import fuel and food.
The army first fired on protesters during riots over Sri Lanka’s lack of fuel. According to the army, the situation at the gas station in Visuvamad in the north of the island state escalated on Sunday night after the petrol ran out.
Waiting drivers threw stones and damaged an army vehicle. Four civilians and three soldiers were wounded. Sri Lanka, with a population of 22 million, is in a devastating financial crisis. The government is unable to finance basic imports such as food, fuel and medicine.
Authorities use armed police and soldiers to guard gas stations. Violence also occurred in other parts of the island state on Saturday while waiting for fuel. According to police, at least six police officers were injured and seven drivers arrested.
Mass protests escalated in May. They were dead and hundreds wounded. In April, police shot dead a motorist in the central city of Rambukkana during a dispute over the distribution of petrol and diesel. However, the army has not yet used the armed forces.