‘Supreme power of people’: Sri Lanka marks 100 days of protests

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The mainly youth-led movement over the island’s worst-ever economic crisis completes 100 days, with people saying the struggle is not yet over.

A mainly youth-led mass protest movement over Sri Lanka’s worst-ever economic crisis has completed 100 days.

During the period, the protesters forced a president and a prime minister – both brothers from the powerful but now-unpopular Rajapaksa clan – to resign, with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa even fleeing the country last week to escape the uprising.

It was the first time in Sri Lanka’s history that a serving head of state had resigned.

Gotabaya’s elder brother and patriarch of the clan, Mahinda Rajapaksa, was forced to quit as prime minister in May after an attack on the main protest site in the capital Colombo by his supporters led to violence throughout the island.

A third brother, former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, also resigned from his parliamentary seat and tried unsuccessfully to leave the country earlier this month.

The protesters blame the Rajapaksas, who dominated the island nation’s politics for more than two decades, for the economic crisis which saw people queueing, sometimes for days, for fuel, medicines and other essentials.

The anger came to a boil earlier this month when tens of thousands of people hit the streets in Colombo, occupying important government buildings, including the official residences of the president and the prime minister.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who had replaced Mahinda Rajapaksa, was declared acting president, tasked with the formation of a new government.

 

 

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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