Economy19 hours ago (May 14, 2022 06: 15AM ET)
(c) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man walks along a deserted road in Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 11, 2022. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
By Uditha Jayasinghe and Alasdair Pal
COLOMBO (Reuters) -Sri Lanka lifted a nationwide curfew for 12 hours on Saturday, further easing tight curbs as new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe made first his cabinet appointments after clashes between pro- and anti-government groups killed nine people.
More than a month-long peaceful protests against government leaders turned violent after Mahinda Rajapaksa supporters stormed a protest camp in Colombo’s commercial capital, clashing with police and protesters.
The initial violence and reprisals against government figures also left more than 300 injured.
Hit hard by the pandemic, rising oil prices and tax cuts by the populist government, Sri Lanka is in the throes of its worst economic crisis since independence from Great Britain in 1948.
The country’s foreign reserves are shrinking and thousands have taken to the streets protesting fuel shortages and rampant inflation.
The government lifted the curfew from 6 a.m. (0030 GMT) on Saturday until 6 p.m. A 24-hour curfew imposed on Monday had been lifted for a few hours on Thursday and Friday to allow purchase of essential supplies. After violence broke out on Monday,
Rajapaksa was forced to resign. His younger brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa will continue to be president.
Wickremesinghe was a five-time prime Minister and was reappointed to a second term on Thursday.
He appointed four ministers from the Rajapaksas’ Sri L