Several stores in Hambantota and other areas were closed today in protest against the 15 percent VAT increase.Traders in Hambantota took to the streets and protested demanding that the Government reverse the decision to increase the VAT. A tense situation also developed in Hambantota when the police refused to allow the protesters to stage the protest using loud-speakers.The protest later continued without the use of loud-speakers. (Colombo Gazette)

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