Colombo [Sri Lanka]: US Ambassador to Colombo Julie Chun on Friday expressed deep concerns about the actions taken by Sri Lankan authorities against protestors at Galle Face in the middle of the night.
Taking to Twitter, Chun asked for restraint by authorities and immediate access to medical attention for those injured. “Deeply concerned about actions taken against protestors at Galle Face in the middle of the night. We urge restraint by authorities and immediate access to medical attention for those injured,” Ambassador Chung tweeted.
A large number of protestors confronted armed security personnel as the latter setup barricades outside the premises of the Sri Lankan Presidential Secretariat in Colombo.
The armed soldiers were deployed in a bid to control the protestors who have been protesting against the new Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe outside the premises of the Sri Lankan Presidential Secretariat. Protesters are alleging that security personnel raided the anti-government protest camp in the capital on early Friday.
“Ranil Wickremesinghe wants to destroy us, they are again doing this, but we will never give up. We want to make our country free of such nasty politics,” said a protestor amid an armed forces crackdown. Tents of protestors are being dismantled by the armed security personnel outside the premises of the Sri Lankan Presidential Secretariat.
Wickremesinghe was sworn in as President of Sri Lanka on Thursday in Parliament before Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya. He was elected as president in an election held in Parliament on Wednesday.
During Wednesday’s vote, Wickremesinghe received 134 votes following the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa from the presidency last week amid severe economic turmoil in the country.
After his official residence in Colombo was stormed by tens of thousands of angry protesters last week, Sri Lanka’s ex-president Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country to the Maldives before flying out to Singapore. Rajapaksa had offered his resignation after fleeing the country.
Sri Lanka’s economy is bracing for a sharp contraction due to the unavailability of basic inputs for production, an 80 per cent depreciation of the currency since March 2022, coupled with a lack of foreign reserves and the country’s failure to meet its international debt obligations.
As Sri Lanka scrambles to get back on track after the election of a new President, the people in the country — who are facing severe economic hardship — are still uncertain about the future.