Sri Lanka police tear fuel protesters against president | Nationwide Politics

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Police in Sri Lanka used tear fuel and a water cannons Saturday to disperse demonstrators attempting to method the president’s workplace to demand he resign over the nation’s ongoing financial disaster.

The demonstrators had been rallying to mark the fiftieth day of protests by which they’ve camped exterior President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s workplace. Police broke up the rally and briefly detained three folks earlier than releasing them.

Sri Lanka is sort of bankrupt, having defaulted on its overseas loans, and is battling acute shortages of important items like cooking fuel, gas and medicines. People have been compelled to attend for hours in lengthy strains to attempt to purchase items and plenty of nonetheless go empty handed.

The nation’s overseas forex reserves have additionally dwindled to solely sufficient to buy two weeks of wanted imports.

Authorities introduced final month that they’re suspending compensation of practically $7 billion overseas debt to be repaid this 12 months. Sri Lanka has to pay up $25 billion by means of 2026. Total overseas debt of the Indian Ocean island nation is $51 billion.

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The protesters say the first duty for the financial disaster rests with Rajapaksa and his household, who they accuse of corruption and mismanagement.

Violence erupted countrywide on May 9, when Rajapaksa supporters attacked peaceable protesters. Nine folks together with a governing occasion lawmaker had been killed and houses of sitting ministers had been burnt down. It practically dismantled the Rajapaksa dynasty after the president’s brother, then Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, resigned amid the violence.

Three of president’s siblings and a nephew had already resigned from their Cabinet posts.

New Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has mentioned that he could have a financial reform plan prepared inside two weeks to hunt approval from the International Monetary Fund for a bailout bundle.

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