The US Embassy and the American Center in Colombo closed at 12:00 (local time) on Tuesday, October 30, and will remain closed until 7:00 on Wednesday, October 31, amid protests following President Maithripala Sirisena's decision to dismiss Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. US citizens have been advised of an increased likelihood of political turmoil, civil unrest, and demonstrations. The Embassy reminds citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can potentially escalate into violence. Further protests and travel disruptions are to be expected over the coming days, particularly in Colombo. A heightened security presence is to be anticipated in Colombo and neighboring areas.
Tensions remain high in Colombo following the removal from office of Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe by President Maithripala Sirisena on October 26, after the president's United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) party withdrew from the coalition government. According to local sources, ousted Prime Minister Wickramasinghe has refused to vacate his official residence, as he claims he is still “constitutionally” prime minister.
One protester was killed on October 28 when the bodyguards of Sri Lanka's ousted petroleum minister opened fire on a group of protesters blocking the politician from entering his office at the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation in Colombo.
Individuals present in Sri Lanka, particularly in Colombo, are advised to keep abreast of the domestic political climate and to avoid all protests due to the risk of violence.
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