Colombo police fire tear gas at student protest

STORY: Students were marching to demand the release of student activists arrested in earlier anti-government protests and to get help with the high cost of living among several demands. Chandrajith said the slashing of budgets under President Ranil Wickremesinghe's government were hurting students and called for an increase in the monthly stipend.

Sri Lanka, with the help of a $2.9 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), is trying to recover from its worst financial crisis since gaining independence in 1948 and turn around its battered economy.

The island nation defaulted on its foreign debt last April.

The IMF said in April it expected the Sri Lankan economy to contract by 3% in 2023 given the weak external environment and domestic policy tightening before registering a modest growth of 1.5% in 2024.