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When Wickremesinghe takes over, security forces raid major protest sites and dismantle the camp

Sri Lankan security forces continued to occupy the president’s secretariat here on Friday, despite the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa after veteran politician Ranil Wickremesinghe became the new head of state of the country. Removed a group of protesters. Rebels returned to Colombo on Wednesday after Congress voted six times on Prime Minister Wickremesinghe as the country’s new president.

They refused to accept Wickremesinghe (73) as the new president and held him partly responsible for the country’s unprecedented economic and political crisis.

Police and Special Task Force personnel deported them on Friday when there were less than 100 people. Protesters had previously vacated the president’s and prime minister’s residences and the prime minister’s office after capturing them on July 9, but they still occupied some of the rooms of Galle Face’s presidential office. ..

Protesters who have been at the secretariat’s gates since starting anti-government protests on April 9, when Rajapaksa resigned as president, will end the protests on social media on Thursday by 2:00 pm on Friday. I posted that. .. A spokesman for the group said, “There was an argument that the constitution should be respected and the protest should be stopped.”

However, since April 9, major protest groups that have blocked entry into Cheong Wa Dae have said they will continue to struggle until Wickremesinghe resigns. “Our victory will only come when we are able to form the People’s Parliament,” said group spokesman Rahil Weerasekera.

Wickremesinghe, who became the eighth president of Sri Lanka on Thursday, said last night that the occupation of government buildings was illegal and warned the occupiers that legal action would be taken.

The new president said he would support peaceful protesters, but would be tough on those trying to foster violence in the guise of peaceful protests. Protesters set fire to Wickremesinghe’s private residence and occupied his office during last week’s protests.

Wickremesinghe prepared to swear in his cabinet at the Prime Minister’s Office on Friday. Such rituals are usually held at the secretariat, which has been under the control of protesters since July 9, when Rajapaksa fled to Male before resigning from Singapore last week.

Rajapaksa was forced to flee the country when the mass uprising due to mishandling of the economy hit the final blow. Rajapaksa resigned in exile in Singapore after holding up since April despite a large-scale protest.

A country with a population of 22 million, Sri Lanka is on the verge of the worst unprecedented economic turmoil in 70 years, with millions struggling to buy food, medicine, fuel and other necessities. ..

Schools have been shut down and fuel is restricted to essential services. Patients are unable to go to the hospital due to lack of fuel and soaring food prices.

Trains are less frequent, and travelers are forced into compartments, even forced to sit on them erratically while commuting.
In some major cities, including Colombo, hundreds of people are forced to line up for hours to buy fuel and can even clash with police and the military.

The country, which has defaulted on its external debt due to a serious foreign currency crisis, has announced that it will suspend the repayment of nearly US $ 7 billion this year, out of the approximately US $ 25 billion paid by 2026. Sri Lanka’s total external debt is US $ 51 billion.

(With PTI input)



https://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-sri-lanka-protests-as-wickremesinghe-takes-over-security-forces-raid-main-protest-site-dismantle-camps-2970528 When Wickremesinghe takes over, security forces raid major protest sites and dismantle the camp

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