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Sri Lanka Protest Camp Cleared After 4 Months Amid Action Against Leaders


Sri Lanka protest camp cleared after 4 months amid action against leaders

The protests began on April 9 as a protest against shortages of basic necessities. (File)

Colombo:

Sri Lankan protesters who brought down the previous government announced that they would dismantle their main protest site near the president’s office on Wednesday following a crackdown against the country’s leaders. their religion.

The group led by university students and left-wing parties said they were clearing their tents along the Galle Face seaside promenade in the capital.

A spokesman said it also withdrew four court challenges to a police order forcing them to leave the area arguing that their tents were an obstacle to nearby hotels.

Activists were seen removing their tents and dismantling other structures they had erected to support the struggle against the authorities.

The protests began on 9 April against shortages of essentials such as fuel, food and medicine during Sri Lanka’s worst-ever economic crisis.

They culminated when tens of thousands of people poured into Colombo and flooded the Gotabaya Rajapaksa presidential palace on July 9, forcing him to flee and eventually resign.

Days after Rajapaksa fled to Singapore and announced his resignation, the army chased away protesters who seized the palace as well as the prime minister’s home and office.

Security forces were accused of using excessive force to evict protesters, with more than 80 injured requiring hospitalization.

Since then, dozens of activists have been arrested for damaging state property.

A top union leader, Joseph Stalin, was released on bail Monday following international criticism over his arrest last week on charges of causing $90 worth of damages.

Rajapaksa’s successor, Ranil Wickremesinghe, distinguished between “protesters” and “rioters” and pledged to take tough action against “any troublemaker”.

Soon after protesters flooded the palace, there were social media posts of them frolicking in the pool and squirming around on four-poster beds inside the sprawling complex.

But protesters also paid authorities about 17.5 million rupees ($46,000) in cash found in one of the rooms.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)



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