The Inter-University Students’ Federation (IUSF) has called for protests in cities across Sri Lanka June 4. Their action is part of nationwide demonstrations denouncing the government’s handling of an ongoing economic crisis since late March. The largest event is likely in Colombo, where hundreds of activists plan to march from Fort Railway Station to the presidential office and residence from 10:00. Other venues and timing details are unclear. Demonstrations will occur in several cities, including Anuradhapura, Colombo, Galle, and Kandy, among others. Student groups typically hold sit-ins or marches at or near government buildings, politicians’ residences, public squares, railway or bus stations, public university campuses, and along major roadways connecting cities.
Authorities will almost certainly maintain a heightened security posture, mainly in Colombo, until protests abate. Localized transport disruptions and a heavy police presence are likely near any large gatherings that may materialize. Officials will likely close roads near sensitive locations such as government buildings. Protests could turn violent quickly, as security forces are usually quick to resort to the use of force to disperse unruly gatherings. Businesses in areas experiencing violent protests and/or heightened security measures could close temporarily as a precaution. Enhanced measures including curtailing public movement and/or telecommunication services such as social media and mobile internet are possible if significant violence breaks out.
Avoid all protests due to potential violence. Do not attempt to cross protester roadblocks; wait for the police to clear them before proceeding. If clashes break out, leave the area immediately and take shelter in a secure, nongovernmental building. Allow additional travel time in Colombo and other cities June 4; confirm business and medical appointments, deliveries, road status, and transport reservations in advance. Adhere to all official instructions including any curfew orders.