TE24 International Desk:
Sri Lankan troops swooped in early Friday morning and hijacked the Galle Face protest site opposite Colombo’s presidential palace. Soldiers rushed in, took down the tents and arrested the protesters.
Social media posts show the threat of troops swarming the coast, where Sri Lankans have been at the center of 113 days of peaceful protests calling for the removal of the Rajapaksas and newly elected President Rajapaksa Machinha. shows the situation.
The Sri Lanka Coverage Association (BASL) today condemned the “unnecessary use” of brutal force by the military. “Details are sketchy, but it is said that some people have been arrested. It is also said that people have been assaulted.”
President BASL said the authorities must ensure everyone’s safety and reveal their whereabouts. Wickremesinghe has issued emergency laws in the island nation. The island nation was rocked by protests against the collapsing economy and people blamed the government.
The emergency law gives the military tough powers, including the power to arrest and detain without warrant. In the past, civilians arrested during emergencies have disappeared for years.
The protestors’ phones, which have been at the scene since the inauguration, were switched off this morning. After Wickremesinghe was elected president in a parliamentary secret ballot, the number of protest sites that had swelled to thousands in recent months has dwindled to less than 100.
On Thursday, protesters told Khaleej Times that they were “in fear of their lives” after Wickremesinghe took power. Sri Lanka’s economic collapse needs immediate global attention: UN experts
“He (Wickramasinghe) wants to take us away, maybe with our lives,” protester Shanes Dikumadwanez, who has lived in the opposition scene since the beginning, told The Khaleej Times on Thursday.
“We want to keep fighting, but we’re afraid now,” said another protester, Niran Huillacún. Desperate Sri Lankans who have lost access to basic necessities like food, medicine and fuel have taken to the streets in massive protests this year. They blame the country’s woes on the mismanagement and corruption of the Rajapaksa family and Wickremesinghe, who recognize them as Rajapaksa’s parents.
In May, peaceful protests intensified in Galle Face, when supporters of salaryman Rajapaksa attacked protesters, and protesters rushed to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s official residence to demand occupation and resignation.
Thousands of protesters occupied several government buildings, including the presidential palace, Cheong Wa Dae and the prime minister’s office this month, when Wickremesinghe was prime minister. All buildings were returned to the government, except for Cheong Wa Da, which was retaken by the military.
Immediately after a major protest, Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the island and resigned as president to allow Wickremesinghe to be elected.