On Saturday, thousands of people demonstrated against the nation’s worst economic crisis since the end of the war. Reports were broadcast on local television showing protesters forcing their way into Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s official residence and nearby office, demanding his resignation. Protesters also required his resignation. It was not apparent whether or not Rajapaksa was inside the mansion in Colombo, but video recorded on mobile phones showed a vast number of people inside the heavily-fortified property and on the grounds outside the building. Read the article to know about Sri Lanka Crisis Latest Updates.
Sri Lanka Crisis Latest Updates
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According to video footage from the regional TV news program NewsFirst, several demonstrators gained access to the President’s mansion while wearing helmets and carrying Sri Lankan flags. TV footage revealed that thousands of protestors burst through the gates of the sea-front presidential secretariat, which has been the location of a sit-in protest for the last several months, and stormed the grounds after entering the building via the broken gates.
The crowd, chanting chants demanding that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa step down, was unstoppable at both sites, despite the best efforts of police and military forces. According to two sources inside the defense ministry, President Rajapaksa was relocated from the official house on Friday to ensure his safety in advance of the demonstration that is scheduled to take place over the weekend.
According to a statement released by his office on Saturday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called an emergency meeting of party leaders to examine the current crisis and work toward finding a solution as soon as possible. According to the statement, he has also asked that the speaker call a meeting of parliament. Reuters was informed by a source inside the administration that Wickremesinghe had also been relocated to a safe place.
Protestors Entered the President’s House
Sixteen members of parliament from the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party, which President Gotabaya Rajapaksa leads, have called for the President’s immediate resignation. As a result of the demonstrators breaking into Rajapaksa’s official house, the situation on the island country has become even direr. Yesterday evening, the President was reportedly moved from the White House to the headquarters of the Army. Images are circulating online that seem to show several demonstrators accessing the swimming pool that is located within the President’s mansion.
Protesters were able to breach the barriers set up by the police and access the official mansion of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Images circulating on social media show demonstrators carrying Sri Lankan flags into the swimming pool at the President’s house. In the collection, witnesses reported seeing them leaping and swimming.
According to officials, demonstrators in Sri Lanka pressured the country’s railway authority to run trains to Colombo so they could attend a march on Saturday. After receiving complaints from opposition parties, rights advocates, and the bar association, the police department decided to lift the curfew that had been imposed.
Sri Lanka’s Economic collapse
The island, with a population of 22 million, is now experiencing the most significant economic crisis since it gained its independence in 1948. This is due to a chronic lack of foreign currency, which has restricted crucial imports of gasoline, food, and medication.
The crisis has been compounded by the accumulation of a large amount of government debt, rising oil prices, and a ban on importing chemical fertilizers enacted the previous year, wreaking havoc on agriculture. The economy relies heavily on tourism, and workers’ remittances from overseas have been significantly reduced.
Many people point the finger of blame at President Rajapaksa for the country’s collapse. Since March, there have been primarily peaceful demonstrations demanding his resignation. A witness who spoke to Reuters stated that thousands of people flooded into Colombo’s government area, where they chanted slogans against the President and dismantled multiple police barriers to get to Rajapaksa’s residence.
According to the witness, the police opened fire into the air many times but could not stop the irate throng from encircling the presidential home.
Sri Lanka Updates
While trains were halted and an overnight curfew was in place, one of the largest demonstrations in recent memory occurred on Saturday. There have been protests for months, but Saturday’s rally was the largest. On Friday, the United Nations appealed to “the authorities in Sri Lanka to exercise moderation in their police meetings and ensure that every necessary effort is made to avert bloodshed.”
Mr. Rajapaksa has defied intensifying calls for his resignation, despite public pressure over the past five months forcing several family members, including his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, to resign. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has also refused to leave.