The decision to deploy troops near petrol pumps and kerosene supply points came after three elderly people dropped dead during their wait in long queues, hanno detto i funzionari.
It was a response to complaints of stockpiling and inefficient distribution, said government spokesman Ramesh Pathirana.
“The military has been deployed to help the public, not to curtail their human rights,” Ha aggiunto.
Two soldiers at each pump
Military spokesman Nilantha Premaratne told Reuters at least two army personnel would be stationed at every fuel pump to help organize fuel distribution, but the soldiers would not be involved in crowd control.
Tension over the scarcity of supplies has fed sporadic violence among those scrambling to buy fuel and other essential items.
Police said a man was stabbed to death on Monday in an argument with the driver of a three-wheeled vehicle, while last week three elderly men died queueing for fuel in sweltering heat.
The rapid drain of Sri Lanka’s dollars has left it struggling to pay for critical imports as currency reserves have slumped 70% in the last two years to $ 2.31 miliardi.
But Sri Lanka has to repay about $ 4 billion in debt in the rest of this year, compreso un $ 1-billion international sovereign bond that matures in July.
Ahead of IMF talks in Washington in April, the government said it would hire a global law firm to provide technical assistance on debt restructuring to fight the crisis.