Colombo, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s police and army troops forcibly eliminated anti-government protesters camped exterior the presidential workplace in Colombo in a pre-dawn raid on Friday on the order of the nation’s new President.
Social media posts confirmed officers wearing riot gear flattening protest tents and arresting demonstrators exterior the presidential workplaces at Galle Face, two days after the crisis-hit nation swore in a brand new chief.
Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was formally sworn in because the nation’s President on Wednesday and issued a “Gazette Extraordinary” calling on the armed forces to keep up public order.
Police Spokesperson SSP Nihal Thalduwa confirmed 9 males have been arrested and can seem in court docket on Friday.
Protesters have been camped exterior the Presidential workplace for months, demanding the resignation of former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled the nation within the early hours of July 13, and Wickremesinghe, a key Rajapksa ally.
Each males presided over an financial disaster that has left the nation’s 22 million individuals struggling to purchase gas, meals and fundamental requirements.
On Friday, Wickremesinghe swore in Dinesh Gunawardena, one other Rajapaksa ally, as prime minister. Wickremesinghe and Gunawardena have been classmates at Colombo’s elite Royal School.
A CNN workforce within the capital confirmed the state of affairs on the streets was calm following the morning raid, however a heavy army and police presence remained in and round the primary protest website.
All roads and lanes resulting in the world had been cordoned off and have been manned by safety forces.
Armed forces now guard the doorway to the Presidential Secretariat and seem to have full management of the constructing. Banners that have been hung from high of the secretariat have additionally been eliminated.
Some observers have raised considerations in regards to the stage of drive used within the raid.
The Bar Affiliation of Sri Lanka additionally mentioned in a press release that it “strongly and unreservedly” condemns “the usage of drive and violence” by the authorities “in attacking protesters.”
The Human Rights Fee of Sri Lanka additionally condemned the raid, calling it a “brutal and despicable assault on peaceable protesters” and a “complete violation of the basic rights of the individuals.”
US and British diplomats additionally expressed concern.
“We urge restraint by authorities and instant entry to medical consideration for these injured,” US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Julie Chung tweeted.
The British Excessive Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Sarah Hulton she was “very involved” about stories of a clampdown on the protest website. “Now we have made clear the significance of the appropriate to peaceable protest,” she added.