Photograph: JDS Lanka
Several protestors were injured and nearly 90 people have been arrested in Colombo yesterday, as anti-government protests flared in the Sri Lankan capital.
The protest, organised by the Socialist Youth Union, was held to demonstrate against the government's continued use of the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Sri Lankan police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse protestors.
It came just a day after an Extraordinary Gazette notification was issued by President Ranil Wickremesinghe declaring several areas in Colombo as 'High-Security Zones'.
According to the gazette announcement, the Parliament Complex and its surrounding areas, Supreme Court Complex, High Court Complex- Colombo, Magistrate Court Complex- Colombo and Attorney General’s Department, Presidential Secretariat, President's House, Sri Lanka Navy Headquarters and Police Headquarters in Colombo, The Ministry of Defense and Sri Lanka Army Headquarters in Akuregoda, Sri Lanka Air Force Headquarters in Slave Island, Prime Minister’s Office (Flower Road) and Temple Trees (Kollupitiya) and Official Residencies of the Secretary to the Ministry of Defense and the Commanders of Tri Forces have been designated as high security zones.
High Security Zones have been deployed by the state for years to seize and occupy vast swathes of land across the North-East. Many areas remain under military occupation.