Sri Lankan forces moved to stop a protest by opposition lawmakers and supporters attempting to march to the capital's Independence Square from the home of opposition leader Sajith Premadasa.
Armed troops in Sri Lanka have blocked an opposition protest march staged in defiance of an emergency curfew to protest the island nation's worsening economic crisis.
The Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), Sri Lanka's main opposition alliance, denounced a social media blockade imposed on Sunday to quell intensifying public demonstrations, and said it was time for the government to tender its resignation.
There was a heavy presence of troops in the capital as the curfew was strictly enforced.
Overnight, however, hundreds defied the curfew and staged small demonstrations in various Colombo neighbourhoods and dispersed peacefully, police and residents said.
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp were among the platforms shut down Sunday on the orders of defence authorities, internet service providers told their subscribers.
Private media outlets reported that the chief of Sri Lanka's internet regulator resigned after the order went into effect.
The South Asian island nation is facing severe shortages of food, fuel and other essentials, along with sharp price rises and crippling power cuts, in its most painful downturn since independence from Britain in 1948.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa imposed a state of emergency on Friday, the day after a crowd attempted to storm his home in the capital Colombo, and a nationwide curfew is in effect until Monday morning.
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