ECONOMYNEXT – Hundreds of protestors including university students gathered near Sri Lanka’s parliament complex withdrew from the self-styled ‘Horugogama’ (‘Go home, thieves’ village) protest site Friday (06) evening promising to return once the house reconvenes on May 17.
The Inter-University Students Federation (IUSF) protested for nearly 24 hours since Thursday (05) evening at the Horugogama sitefollowing a controversial vote in parliament to elect its deputy speaker. The protestors echoed the calls of thousands of ordinary citizens around the country who have been demanding the resignation of the government over its mishandling of Sri Lanka’s crashing economy.
MPs leaving parliament were obstructed by protestors who confronted them about the multiple crises facing the country.
The IUSF students, who continued to protest in the face of police tear gas and water-cannon fire, said that will relocate to the Gotagogama protest site outside the presidential secretariat in Colombo.
The student body started a protest march from the University of Sri Jayawardenepura to the parliament complex Thursday evening and occupied the roads leading to parliament weathering a heavy downpour last night.
EconomyNext reporters who visited Horugogama said Friday afternoon said protestors braved the water cannon fire, tear gas and other numerous methods employed by police to disperse them. The demonstrators continued their anti-government chants unfaced, the reporters said.
They, like the rest of the protesters on the island, are demanding the government, Sri Lanka’s 225 parliamentarians resign while the first family return allegedly stolen money.
Police set up barricades on the roads leading up to the parliament and its vicinity. They had even stopped residents from entering the area, videos circulating on social media showed.
In one instant, a food supply tent of the demonstrators was trashed by water cannon Friday afternoon.
Hundreds of Sri Lanka’s trade unions have also launched an island-wide ‘hartal’. Businesses across the island have shut down in protest against the government and in support of the ongoing protests. (Colombo/May06/2022)