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Protesters in Colombo on Saturday were met with tear gas and water cannons as they took to the streets for the 50th consecutive day.
Sri Lanka is on the verge of bankruptcy, facing its worst economic crisis since independence from Britain in 1948.
Gate bans, rising food prices, and strong protests have rocked the country in recent weeks.
On Saturday, thousands of Sri Lankans took to the streets again, to celebrate the 50th consecutive day of protests. Many gathered outside President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s office, with many also camping in recent weeks.
Riot police stormed Friday’s rally and drove hundreds of protesters out in trucks. They initially arrested three people, and later released them.
The demonstrators are demanding the resignation of the President of the Republic as a result of the country’s economic crisis.
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She owns $51 billion
Sri Lanka is highly dependent on imports to meet its basic commodity needs. The severe shortage of foreign exchange means that the country can no longer pay for food, fuel and other imported goods.
According to the Associated Press, people must wait in line for an hour to buy merchandise — and still go home empty-handed. The country’s foreign exchange reserves have fallen to the point where it is enough to purchase only necessary imported goods for two weeks.
At present, the total external debt of the island nation is $51 billion.
Sri Lanka unrest: Five dead, 189 injured in violent riots
At least five people were killed and 189 injured in violent clashes in Sri Lanka.
One family controlled large parts of the government
On Monday May 9, demonstrations broke out across the country. Rajapaksa supporters attacked the peaceful protesters, in what developed into violent violence.
Nine people were killed and a number of ministers burned their homes.
The country’s former prime minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, resigned on the same day. He is the brother of the current President of the country – Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The news of his passing did not stop the riots – on the contrary.
Resentment of the authorities, especially the Rajapaksa family, is very high. In addition to controlling the presidency and prime minister, the Rajapaksa family also assumed control of the finance, sports and agriculture ministers.
The new prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, said that a new economic reform plan would be presented within the next two weeks. It will be sent to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for approval, writes ap.
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