On 1 April 2022, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared a state of emergency in Sri Lanka’s Western province — which includes Colombo and several surrounding suburbs — following consecutive days of protests and small-scale rioting near the capital over the country’s worsening economy. The emergency decree also allows military personnel and police officers to arrest and detain suspects without cause for an indefinite amount of time. On 2 April government authorities imposed a nationwide 36-hour curfew — from 1800 local time on 2 April to 0600 local time on 4 April (from 1230 UTC on 2 April to 0030 UTC on 4 April).

During the evening of 3 April, 26 government ministers announced their resignations from the government following the protests. Thousands of demonstrators continue to protest throughout the country. On the outskirts of the capital city Colombo, police officers and armed soldiers stopped hundreds of residents as they marched to Independence Square. Police officers also fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse hundreds of protesters in the central town of Kandy — located approximately 95 km (60 mi) east of Colombo