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Sri Lanka: Massive protests near President’s residence, mob torches police bus

Protesters also clashed with police

Colombo :

People across Sri Lanka, including the capital Colombo, have been facing economic crisis for the past several weeks. People’s opposition to such a situation is increasing. Hundreds of people staged a massive protest outside President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s residence late on Thursday. Thousands of protesters were raising slogans by waving posters. The group of protesters also clashed with the police during this period. The situation got so bad that the special task force had to be called. During this, the furious mob of police set the police bus on fire. The confrontation started when the police force tried to disperse these protesters. The gathered mob threw bottles and stones at the police. Later the police had to use water cannons along with lathi charge to control these people. Since Thursday evening, people started gathering on the road near the residence of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. They were demanding ‘ghar wapsi’ of Gotabhaya and his family. In fact, the Rajapaksa family currently dominates the politics of Sri Lanka. Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the President while his elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa is serving as the PM. The youngest brother, Basil Rajapaksa, holds the finance portfolio, while the eldest brother Chamal Rajapaksa is the agriculture minister, while his nephew Namal Rajapaksa is in charge of sports in the cabinet.


Significantly, Sri Lanka is currently facing a severe economic crisis. Here the prices of food and common necessities are skyrocketing. There is a shortage of fuel and gas in the country. The situation is even such that people have to queue for many hours for petrol and diesel at the pumps. Due to the paucity of paper, the examinations of educational institutions have had to be postponed indefinitely. There was no diesel in Sri Lanka on Thursday evening, due to which transportation came to a standstill, along with this, 22 million people of the country also had to face power cuts for a long time. In fact, this is the first time since independence that the South Asian nation has faced the worst economic slowdown.

According to officials and media reports, diesel and main fuel for buses and commercial vehicles are not available at stations across the island. Petrol was being sold, but due to short supply, motorists were forced to leave their cars in long lines. The coronavirus pandemic devastated the tourism sector here. Murtaza Jafferji, president of the Colombo-based Advocate Institute think-tank, considers government mismanagement to be the reason for these deplorable conditions. The tax was cut just before the pandemic in the country. The government has also wasted public money on several projects, including spending on a lotus-shaped skyscraper.

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