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One person was killed and at least a dozen were injured in Sri Lanka after police fired into a crowd of protestors who reportedly were blocking a railway line. The death is the first after weeks of protests in the island nation over the government’s handling of a failing economy. Sri Lankans have called for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his brother, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, to resign amid shortages of cooking gas, fuel, medicine, and food. The Rajapaksas have ignored those calls, though most of the country’s cabinet was replaced.

Sri Lanka, which has a population of 22 million and sits off India’s southern tip, is on the brink of bankruptcy. It seeks up to $4B from the International Monetary Fund to deal with $25B in debt and high inflation, which reached nearly 19% in March. The IMF has helped Sri Lanka 16 times since 1965. Critics say President Rajapaksa, who took office in 2019, exacerbated the economic crisis by both cutting taxes and boosting spending, effectively draining the government’s reserves. 

See background on the crisis here.