Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in hiding after thousands of protesters storm residence
The Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is hiding after thousands of angry protesters stormed his residence in the Capital city.
Protesters commuted across the country to the capital city and managed to sack the President despite security agencies’ efforts to stop the protesters from using tear gas and sporadic shooting.
The protesters demanded the resignation of Gotabaya over the alleged mismanagement of the country’s economic resources.
AFP news agency said the President had been whisked to a safer location.
Sri Lanka is battling hyperinflation with no food, fuel, or medicine. There are videos of people dying at the fuel station.
The protesters marched to the President’s residence shouting “Gota go home!” after some reportedly commandeered trained to the capital.
For months Galle Face has been the site of an anti-government protest camp, where people have been living in tents and refusing to move until Rajapaksa resigns.
They fought through barricades of police and several soldiers to get to the police.
“The president was escorted to safety,” a senior defense source told AFP. “He is still the president; he is being protected by a military unit.”
A video live-streamed on Facebook shows Rajapaksha’s residence overrun by protesters as some are seen taking dips in the swimming pools.
BBC Sinhala Service says at least 33 people, including security forces, were injured and are being treated at the National Hospital in Colombo.
Sri Lankan authorities knew of the protests and attempted to stop them by imposing a curfew on Friday night. However, the curfew was opposed by Civil society groups and opposition parties.
The country is in a mess as Sri Lankans who can longer take the hardship have lashed out at the suspected source of their problem.
AFP said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had summoned an emergency meeting of leaders of Sri Lanka’s political parties to discuss the crisis.
He has also asked the Speaker to convene parliament.
Sri Lankans have blamed the Rajapaksa family, the most powerful political dynasty in Sri Lanka, for their hardship.
A former President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, and three other members of the family who were serious cabinet were forced to step down, hoping to calm the angry residents.
Gotabaya has refused to resign despite an effort by the public to force him to like his brother, Mahinda.
The President appointed a caretaker prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, in May to replace his brother. The newly appointed caretaker is also facing calls to resign over accusations as the situation worsens.©Standard Gazette, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s publisher is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Standard Gazette with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.