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Sri Lanka anger swells under Rajapaksa's curfew, internet curbs

Plagued by power outages and goods shortages, citizens vow to step up protests

A Sri Lankan Special Task Force member stops vehicles at a checkpoint in Colombo on April 3, after the government imposed a curfew.   © Reuters

COLOMBO -- Sri Lankans frustrated with a deteriorating economic crisis are locked in a standoff with the government, which moved this weekend to block popular social networks and muzzle the masses.

The Ministry of Defense's order to suspend access to Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and YouTube -- which was handed down on Saturday and took effect at midnight -- was part of a frantic scramble to stop an island-wide protest planned for Sunday against the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his elder brother, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

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