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international

Sri Lankan demonstrators intensify protests, demand President's ouster


Sri Lankan demonstrators intensified their protests on Sunday (April 10), calling for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to step down, amid a deepening economic crisis afflicting their country.

Protesters swarmed the area near the old parliament building, close to Colombo's central business district where they chanted anti-government slogans.

"We want the Rajapaksas to go, we don't want them to rule our nation like this. We are angry, we are hurt, and we just want them to leave us. And we want a new cabinet to do what is right for the generations to come," said Dina Rizvi, a housewife who came with her family and friends to participate in the protests.

Anti-government protests have raged across the island for days, with at least one turning violent in the commercial capital of Colombo, a threat to the country's lucrative tourism industry.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is running his administration with only a handful of ministers after his entire cabinet resigned this week, while the opposition and some coalition partners rejected calls for a unity government to deal with the country's worst crisis in decades.

At least 41 lawmakers have quit the ruling coalition to become independents, though the government says it still has a majority in parliament.

The heavily indebted country has little money left to pay for imports, leading to crippling shortages of fuel, power, food and, increasingly, medicine. Street protests have been held nearly non-stop for more than a month, despite a five-day state of emergency and a two-day curfew.

 

Published : April 11, 2022

By : Reuters