'Sri Lankans have right to protest peacefully...': US envoy's tweet on crisis
Sri Lanka crisis: Supporting the demonstrations, a US envoy has said that peaceful protest is essential for a "democratic expression".
Sri Lanka's worst economic crisis in decades has led to huge protests in the island nation as it grapples to maintain a supply of essentials. Amid escalating developments, Sri Lanka president Gotabaya Rajapaksa is facing resignation calls as a large number of agitators gathered outside his official residence on Thursday. A day later, a countrywide emergency was announced.
Supporting the demonstrations, a US envoy has said that peaceful protest is essential for a "democratic expression". "Sri Lankans have a right to protest peacefully - essential for democratic expression. I am watching the situation closely, and hope the coming days bring restraint from all sides, as well as much needed economic stability and relief for those suffering, (sic)" Julia Chung, US ambassador to Sri Lanka, wrote on Twitter.
In a late-night message on Friday, Rajapaksa said that he took the decision to impose emergency to ensure public order and public security. A day earlier, tear gas shells and water cannos were used outside his home by police to quell the protesters as they shouted slogans, signalliing that the patience levels among the masses had been wearing thin.
The South Asian country is trying to cope up with the economic crisis with 10-hour power cuts. Diesel shortage has also brought life to halt in many parts.
According to reports, the island nation has about $ 3 billion dollars in debt. The crisis was worsened during the pandemic in the country that is largely dependent on the tourism sector. The current economic situation has been blamed on mismanagement by analysts.
(With inputs from Reuters)
- Sri Lanka