Colombo, Jul 25 (EFE).- Sri Lankan protest leaders called Monday on the international community to put pressure on president Ranil Wickremesinghe to avoid more violent protests.
Wickremesinghe violated the protesters’ rights by deploying the army against peaceful demonstrators on Friday, lawyer Nuwan Bopage said during a press conference in Colombo’s Gota Go Gama camp, the epicenter of the anti-government rallies.
The security forces carried out a violent operation against protesters occupying the Presidential Secretariat despite protesters promised to hand over the occupied building on Friday, Bopage, one of the protest leaders said, denouncing a state of emergency imposed in the country.
Bopage warned against a “massive bloodbath” as Wickremesinghe is keen to retain power against protesters’ will.
Wickremesinghe – who took office last week replacing Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was forced to resign and leave the country – met with diplomats last weekend to explain his government’s position.
Sri Lankans began to take to the streets throughout the country at the end of March to protest a serious economic crisis the island has been struggling with for months.
They demanded the resignation of Rajapaksa, whom they blamed for his handling of the crisis partly triggered by heavy debt, misguided government policies, and the impact of the Easter attacks and the pandemic on tourism. EFE