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Sri Lankan police tear gas protesters against the president | Government. & Politics

ERANGAJAYA WARDENA-The Associated Press

Colombo, Sri Lanka (AP) —Sri Lankan police used tear gas and water cannons on Saturday to disperse demonstrators approaching the presidential office and demanded that the country resign from the ongoing economic crisis. ..

Demonstrators were gathered to commemorate the 50th day of the protests camp outside the office of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Police disbanded the rally and temporarily detained them before releasing them.

Sri Lanka is almost bankrupt, neglecting foreign lending and struggling with a serious shortage of essentials such as cooking gas, fuel and medicines. People were forced to wait hours in long lines to try to buy goods, and many still go empty-handed.

The country’s foreign exchange reserves have also been reduced enough to buy the necessary imports for two weeks.

Authorities announced last month that they would stop paying about $ 7 billion in external debt, which will be repaid this year. Sri Lanka will have to pay $ 25 billion by 2026. The total external debt of the island nations of the Indian Ocean is $ 51 billion.

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Protesters say the main responsibility for the economic crisis lies with Rajapaksa and his family, who are blaming for corruption and mismanagement.

Violence broke out nationwide on May 9, when Rajapaksa supporters attacked peaceful protesters. Nine people, including a ruling party member, were killed and the incumbent minister’s house was burned down. It almost dismantled the Rajapaksa dynasty after the president’s brother, then Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, resigned in violence.

Three of the president’s brothers and nephew had already resigned from their cabinet posts.

New Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said he would prepare an economic reform plan within two weeks to seek approval of the bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

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Sri Lankan police tear gas protesters against the president | Government. & Politics

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