Protesters in Sri Lanka occupy Colombo presidential residence

In Sri Lanka, large-scale anti-government protests have been staged in the largest city of Colombo. Some protesters occupied the president’s residence.

The speaker of the country’s parliament said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa expressed his intention to step down on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka is facing an economic crisis and public frustration is growing. Huge debts accumulated by the government had to be repaid, and the repayments left the country with a severe shortage of foreign currency.

On Saturday, the streets of central Colombo were filled with protesters waving national flags. A number of people entered the presidential residence. President Rajapaksa had already left the building.

Some protesters also clashed with security police officers. Medical officials said at least 50 people were injured in the clashes and treated in hospitals.

A series of rallies have been held across the country since March. The protesters demand that the president and the government take responsibility for the economic turmoil.

Political instability also continues to be a problem. In May, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the older brother of incumbent President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, resigned.

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