Demonstrators blame the government for not taking adequate measures to deliver justice for the nearly 270 victims of the bombings and punish the suspects linked the Daesh group.
Colombo is also banking on the IMF deal to unfreeze billions of dollars in foreign aid for projects suspended since Sri Lanka defaulted on its loans last year.
Sri Lanka defaulted on its foreign debt in April 2022 as the country plunged into its worst economic downturn since independence because of a major shortage in foreign currency reserves.
Unions say the strikes will continue until the government responds to their demand to reverse the new taxes.
Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis in decades and a shortage of dollars has disrupted imports of essentials, though the situation has improved from last year when protesters ousted its president.
Sri Lanka expects approval from the International Monetary Fund to start the disbursal of $2.9 billion in the third or fourth week of this month, President Ranil Wickremesinghe says.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe said rapid approval from the global lender was expected as Sri Lanka marked its 75th independence anniversary as a bankrupt nation.
Ranil Wickremesinghe government did not give a clear reason for the move, but his office, in a statement, said his address to lawmakers on February 8 will announce new policies and laws.
The island nation of 22 million people has been forced to cut back on government expenditure after it slid into a deep economic crisis last year when foreign exchange reserves dried up.
Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court ruled that former President Maithripala Sirisena had been negligent in not taking measures to thwart the attack, despite solid intelligence warnings two weeks earlier.
Local government elections scheduled in February will be a test of the popularity of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who replaced ousted leader Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Members of the Muslim minority continue to escape violence and hardship in Myanmar.
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