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Saturday October 1st, 2022

Sri Lanka protestors face tear gas, water cannon

ECONOMYNEXT – Thousands protestors gathered at Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo shouting slogan against President Gotabaya Rajapaksa while police tear gassed crowds in the city centre, as inflation topped 50 percent after two years of money printing.

Police tear gassed protestors at Chatham Street, near President Rajapaksa’s official residence.

“Even though you are in uniform you must stand with the people,” former military chief Sarath Fonseka told security forces.

Sri Lanka imposed curfew ahead of the protest in a bid to curb the crowds but it was lifted at 0800 am.

The protest was called by non-partisan ‘aragala’ or activists struggling to oust President Rajapaksa rallying around the hashtage #gotagohome, which is supported by main opposition groups.

Sri Lanka’s main opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya called on the public to defy a curfew and come to Colombo saying it was illegal, repeating a call made by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s inflation topped 50 percent in June after a soft-pegged central bank printed money for two years and created forex shortages leading to a collapse of the currency.

“Gota does not know Geneva conventions,” shouted a protestor in visuals broadcast over the privately owned Sirasa television.

Protestor came despite crippled bus and train services due to fuel shortages.

Protestors came to Colombo walking and in whatever transport they could find.

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