Sri Lanka President flees as protesters take over his home

Sri Lanka President, Lieutenant Colonel Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has been chased out of the Presidential Palace as thousands of protesters storm his house.

After months of protest over the country’s economic hardship, the protesters are now calling for the president to resign.

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Aljazeera reports that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was evacuated from the President’s House in capital Colombo before thousands of protestors stormed his residence on Saturday, demanding his resignation.

The report adds that hundreds of the demonstrators have milled about on the grounds outside the colonial-era white-washed building. No security officials were visible.

Protesters gather outside the president’s office in Colombo [Thilina Kaluthotage/AP]

Thousands of protesters also broke open the gates of the sea-front presidential secretariat and the finance ministry, which has been the site of a sit-in protest for months, and entered the premises, TV footage showed.

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Military personnel and police at both locations were unable to hold back the crowd, as they chanted slogans asking Rajapaksa to step down.

Footage of protesters standing and some bathing in the swimming pool inside the president’s home has been widely circulated on social media.

BBC also reports that the police used tear gas against the crowd to try to disperse them when they got close to the president’s residence – but they were unable to stop many of them from entering.


Security forces use water cannons to disperse an anti government protest rally, calling for the resignation of the president over the alleged failure to address the economic crisis, near the President's house in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 09 July 2022.

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