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Sri Lanka's food emergency heightens fears of militarization

Critics accuse President Rajapaksa of endangering country's democracy

Sri Lanka's President Gotabaya Rajapaksa attends an independence day ceremony in Colombo on Feb. 4, 2020.   © Reuters

COLOMBO -- Sri Lanka's political opposition, importers and traders are up in arms after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa last week declared a state of emergency, allowing his government to dictate retail prices for essential food items and seize stocks from traders, as the country's foreign reserves dry up.

Importers warn the emergency regulation could create a supply crisis, while opposition parties say the move endangers the country and inches it closer to authoritarianism.

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