(ANSA) – COLOMBO, JUL 10 – Sri Lankan protesters refused to leave the residence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the aftermath of the assault that forced him to flee and promise that he will resign on Wednesday.
“Our fight is not over,” said student leader Lahiru Weerasekara, “we will not give up this fight until it really goes away.”
Today, thousands of people have continued to enter the residence, a legacy from the colonial era that symbolized the authority of the state for more than 200 years. Since this morning, many protesters have lined up to sit in the President’s chair upstairs, while on the ground floor the children have played on the grand piano.
“When rulers live in such luxury, they have no idea how ordinary citizens fare,” said Sri Sumeda, a monk who walked 50 kilometers on his first visit to the palace. According to him, this “shows what can be done when people decide to exercise their power.”
Yesterday Rajapaksa, 73, fled through a gate at the back of the building under military protection. A few minutes later, a crowd of protesters entered the gates, challenging the police armed with live ammunition, tear gas and water cannons. The president is now on a ship that has reached the southern waters of the island. (HANDLE).
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