DFA: Alert Level 2 raised in Sri Lanka, as security situation worsens

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 16 2022 01:48 PM

A police officer walks past anti-government slogans written on a wall near the President's House following the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as president, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, July 15, 2022. Chamila Karunarathne, EPA-EFE
A police officer walks past anti-government slogans written on a wall near the President's House following the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as president, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, July 15, 2022. Chamila Karunarathne, EPA-EFE

MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Saturday raised the crisis alert level in Sri Lanka to Alert Level 2 amid the worsening "security situation" there.

This means no overseas Filipino worker shall be deployed to the South Asian country, except for those with existing contracts.

"The DFA, through the Philippine Embassy in Dhaka, is in constant coordination with the Filipino community in Sri Lanka in light of the mass protests in the country due to the ongoing economic crisis," the advisory read, adding that no Filipino has so far been injured in light of the "violent protests." 

The agency also clarified that there are no plans yet to evacuate Filipinos; there are around 700 Filipinos in Sri Lanka. 

The DFA said it would coordinate with the Philippine Honorary Consul General in Colombo to provide any assistance to Filipinos severely affected by the economic crisis in Sri Lanka. 

"Amid continuing tensions in the country, the DFA reminds Filipinos there to remain in their residences as much as possible, avoid areas where there are protests, and refrain from joining the mass action for their own safety and well-being," it said.

The agency in late May said Filipinos in Sri Lanka will receive $300 and will also be offered free repatriation flights.

Sri Lanka is faced with a shortage of foreign currency reserves. Unable to pay for debt and prices of goods, its people is suffering from shortage in supply. 

Its president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, flew out of the country and resigned to escape public wrath. His angry constituents stormed the presidential palace last week. 

Sri Lankan protesters have also set the prime minister's private home on fire

— With a report from Agence France-Presse

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