Protesters crowd the Sri Lankan capital to demand political change

Protesters crowd the Sri Lankan capital to demand political change

Protesters crowd the Sri Lankan capital to demand political change

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Colombo, July 9, 2022 (dpa) Tens of thousands of protesters, supported by Buddhist monks, arrived in the Sri Lankan capital on Saturday to demand the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the government over their failure to resolve the difficulties economic, police said.

Crowds gathered near the president’s official residence in Colombo, with more and more people pouring into the city.

Security forces and the army were deployed around the presidential residence.

Heavy iron barricades were erected in the surrounding areas.

The government declared an indefinite curfew on Friday but lifted it early Saturday amid protests from lawyers, civil rights groups and Buddhist monks.

“The purpose of the curfew was to prevent people from coming to protest, but they were forced to lift it under public pressure,” student union leader Wasantha Mudalige told dpa.

Police spokesman Nihal Thalduwa said police would not break up any peaceful protests but would be forced to act if violence broke out.

The protests come in the wake of an unprecedented economic crisis that has led to shortages of fuel, petrol, medicine and food.

Sri Lanka lacks dollars for purchases.

Long queues continue outside petrol stations, where only limited stocks of fuel are available.

The president’s office said on Friday that steps were being taken to restore supplies of fuel, gas and medicine.

Sri Lanka has also appealed to the International Monetary Fund for a bailout.

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NewsSourceCredit: NAN

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