Major crackdown in Sri Lanka, protest camps cleared out in Colombo | Watch
Protest organisers said hundreds of security personnel surrounded the "Gota Go Gama" protest camp, mockingly named after Rajapaksa.
Videos of how Sri Lankan security forces raided anti-government protest camps in Colombo on Friday, hours after the swearing-in of new President Ranil Wickremesinghe, emerged on social media. In one of such videos, shared by news agency ANI, a large number of security personnel can be seen barricading the Galle Face protest site entry in Colombo, while the protesters are clicking photos, and videos or confronting the security personnel.
Armed with assault rifles, soldiers in riot gear marched through the protest area where rows of protest tents stood on both sides of the main road in front of the president's secretariat. The road has been completely cleared out now.
Protest organisers said hundreds of security personnel surrounded the "Gota Go Gama" protest camp, mockingly named after Rajapaksa, after midnight and then took apart a section of it, Reuters reported.
The organisers, as quoted by Reuters, said at least 50 protesters were injured including some journalists who were beaten by security forces.
"We will continue the protest until Ranil goes home. It might take us a week, a month, two months, or 98 days. But we know people in Sri Lanka are not going to stand for it. We will get back on the streets and continue," a protester had told Reuters.
The island nation's economy is facing a sharp contraction due to the unavailability of basic inputs for production. Sri Lanka is witnessing an 80 percent depreciation of the currency since March this year, along with a lack of foreign reserves and failure to meet its international debt obligations. The country is facing a major fuel shortage.