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Occupation ends in Sri Lanka

After mass protests and the storming of the presidential palace on Saturday and several other government buildings, the Sri Lankan government – critical protesters vowed to end their occupation of official buildings.

“We are withdrawing peacefully from the presidential palace, the president’s office and the prime minister’s office with immediate effect, but we will continue our struggle,” a spokesman for activists said on Thursday.

At the same time, there are reports that the president, who previously promised to resign and has already left the country on Wednesday, is now on his way to Singapore.

Curfew and emergency

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was appointed acting president during Rajapaksa’s absence, called for government buildings to be evacuated and instructed security forces “what is necessary to restore order”.

“Those who come to my office want to prevent me from assuming my responsibility as acting president,” the prime minister said in a televised address.

We cannot let the fascists take over.

On Wednesday, passengers took pictures at the Prime Minister’s Office and waved the country’s flag on the rooftop terrace. According to them, Rajapaksa and his powerful family have led the country into a difficult economic crisis, but the anger is also directed at Ranil Wickremesinghe.

looking for a solution

Protesters criticizing the government in Sri Lanka promise a peaceful withdrawal from official buildings, but assure they will continue their struggle and demand change.

At the same time, they are critical of Ranil Wickremesinghe taking over as interim president.

– Ranil has not been able to fulfill what he promised during the two months, so he must stop. All Ranil did was try to protect Rajapaksa, says Subun Iranga, one of the activists on the ground.

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Hear peace researcher Camila Urgola’s analysis of the turbulent situation in Sri Lanka. picture: TT / AP / SVT