A curfew has been imposed in Colombo after further violent protests and troops are patrolling the streets

As Sri Lanka continues to witness violent protests and demonstrations, the governments of Singapore and New Zealand are among those urging their citizens to avoid visiting the island nation, recommending against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka

With a severe lack of foreign exchange reserves, Sri Lanka is experiencing its greatest economic and political crisis since its independence in 1948.

In Colombo, there was calm on Thursday - reports Reuters - as people waited for the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, although a curfew was imposed and troops patrolled the streets to prevent any outbreak of violence.

Rajapaksa fled to the Maldives to escape a popular uprising over his family’s role in the current economic crisis and is on his way to Singapore, according to a Sri Lankan government source.

His decision to make ally Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe the acting president triggered further protests in recent days, with demonstrators storming parliament and the premier’s office demanding that he too step down.

It follows widespread riots against the government in May, with insurance claims expected to exceed $3m for Sri Lanka’s state-owned National Insurance Trust Fund.

Verisk Maplecroft links the rising unrest in Sri Lanka to the cost of living crisis, which has been fuelled by the rapidly-changing geopolitical risk landscape, notably Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It points to rising food and fuel prices as a key factor.