Crisis state: protests in Sri Lanka abate

crisis state
Protests in Sri Lanka die down

Protesters from trade unions, civil society and the Left People’s Liberation Front during a demonstration in Colombo. photo

© Eranga Jayawardena/AP/dpa

They have been protesting against the government for weeks, but the number of people on the barricades is decreasing. The few demonstrators are demanding, among other things, an end to the state of emergency.

In the crisis-ridden state of Sri Lanka, there have again been minor protests against the leadership of the new President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

But unlike the mass protests that led to the ousting of former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in mid-July, the number of people taking part in the rallies in the capital Colombo and elsewhere was infinitesimally small, police said. The few demonstrators called for an end to the state of emergency, the arrest of activists and political change in the crisis state.

The protest movement Aragalaya (Sinhala for “fight”) had actually declared August 9 the “national day of protest”. However, the government’s crackdown apparently had a deterrent effect, said a demonstrator in Colombo, commenting on the low level of citizen participation in the protests. In addition, however, Wickremesinghe has managed to alleviate the lack of petrol, for example. By ensuring political stability, he hopes to soon receive help from the International Monetary Fund, among others.

India’s southern neighbor with around 22 million inhabitants is experiencing the worst economic crisis in decades. President Wickremesinghe wants an all-party government. However, he is met with skepticism. Many accuse Wickremesinghe of standing behind his predecessor Rajapaksa and his family. They are accused of running the country down through mismanagement and corruption.


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