Thousands of protesters in Sri Lanka’s Colombo clashed with the police and stormed President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s official residence during an anti-government march.
Earlier on Friday, the authorities had removed the president from his official residence for his safety ahead of the planned rally over the weekend.
Today, some protesters, holding Sri Lankan flags, broke into the premises and chanted slogans against the president.
A witness said that the police fired shots in the air but were unable to stop the protesters from surrounding the presidential residence.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe summoned an emergency meeting of political party leaders and requested the speaker to summon parliament.
It is pertinent to mention here that at least 21 people, including two policemen, have been injured and hospitalised in the ongoing protests.
The country is struggling under a severe foreign exchange shortage that has limited essential imports of fuel, food and medicine.
Many blame the country’s decline on the president. Largely peaceful protests since March have demanded his resignation.
Political instability can undermine the country’s talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) seeking a $3 billion bailout, a restructuring of some foreign debt and fund-raising from multilateral and bilateral sources to ease the dollar drought.