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Rediff.com  » News » Dramatic visuals show protesters storm SL Prez's home

Dramatic visuals show protesters storm SL Prez's home

Source: ANI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
July 09, 2022 19:06 IST
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Dramatic visuals from outside Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapakse's residence on Saturday showed a sea of demonstrators storming into the compound, tearing down security cordons placed by police, taking a dip in the swimming pool and romping through his kitchen and home.

At least 30 people, including two policemen, were injured in clashes between security personnel and protesters -- some of them holding Sri Lankan flags and helmets -- who had gathered in large numbers in central Colombo's high-security Fort area, demanding President Rajapaksa's resignation.

Rajapaksa, who was facing calls for resignation since March, was using the President's House as his residence and office since protesters came to occupy the entrance to his office early April.

According to sources, the President had been moved out of his residence on Friday, in anticipation of Saturday's protests. His whereabouts was unknown as protesters have now occupied both his office and official residence.

 

Protesters who climbed the walls of the President's House are now occupying it without damaging any property or indulging in acts of violence.

Video footage from inside the building showed hundreds of protesters packing into rooms and corridors, while hundreds also milled around the grounds outside.

WATCH: Thousands anti-government protesters storm into Rajapaksa's official residence

Videos shared on social media showed the angry protesters inside the president's house shouting slogans and drinking.

Some video clips showed scores of people taking a dip in the presidential palace pool.

Footage on social media also showed protesters gathered in the palace's kitchen cooking, laughing and eating food.

Earlier, the police fired tear gas at two access roads to the President's House -- Chatham Street and Lotus Road, but the defiant protesters continued unabated.

WATCH: Protesters gather outside Lankan Presidential Secretariat 

The protesters also clashed with the railway authorities at provincial towns of Galle, Kandy, and Matara as the demonstrators forced authorities to operate trains to Colombo.

Large contingents of police, special task force, and the Army had been deployed around the area.

The organisers of the movement ‘Whole country to Colombo' said people were walking from the suburbs to join the protesters at Colombo Fort.

Protesters said they will not relent until Rajapaksa quits the presidency.

Sri Lanka, a country of 22 million, is under the grip of an unprecedented economic turmoil, the worst in seven decades, crippled by an acute shortage of foreign exchange that has left it struggling to pay for essential imports of fuel, and other essentials.

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Source: ANI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
 
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