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Riots & protests

Small protests of one sort or another are common in Colombo; they are not usually too big and quite often you won’t even know they’re happening. However, if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, then we recommend you take these precautions:

  • Let a loved one know where you are.
  • Use your phone sparingly. This is to make your battery last as long as possible. That said, check your social media periodically to see if the riot has evolved or dissipated.
  • Get to a safe space as quickly as you can. This could be any space you feel is safe: private or public. It could perhaps be a café, shop or hotel where you feel safe, or the home of a friend in the area.
  • Keep out of the sun and stay hydrated.

Do NOT engage with the protests and the protesters. Just because you are a foreigner doesn’t mean you can’t get in trouble, or worse, injured. Even if someone looks in trouble, the police are acting wrongly, or you think you can help- STEP AWAY!!!

T&T TIP: It is very important in times of distress to be mindful of what you share, particularly on social media and most especially during a social media block. Under the rules of the State of Emergency, anyone sharing or spreading messages that can influence or panic the public (particularly hate speech or ethnically/ racially influenced material) can be prosecuted and potentially imprisoned. Therefore, utmost discretion is advised when sharing information during a State of Emergency and particularly during a social media block.

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