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Sri Lankan Government supporters disrupt peaceful protests



Srilankan government supporters, on Monday, struck peaceful anti-government protest sites around the nation including Colombo, says Human Rights Watch

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, Bar Association and other foreign diplomats have condemned the attack on protesters and called for an impartial investigation.

The Aftermath

Following this, the protesters are now calling for Prime Minister’s brother to resign from his role as the president.

It was noted that the government should protect the right to peaceful protest and ensure the security forces are responding appropriately to public disorder.

This came after hundreds of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s supporters charged at Galle face green, the camp site of peaceful protesters.

The protestors were there for weeks demanding the Prime Minister’s resignation.

Witnesses of the incident recount that the government supporters attacked the protestors with clubs and other weapons and even set fire to their tents.

Hours later, Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned as prime minister.

South Asia director at Human Rights Watch, Meenakshi Ganguly says these attacks risk further deadly violence.

“It is vitally important for the security forces to fully respect the right to peaceful assembly, and for those responsible for violence to be held to account.”

Kasumi Ranasinghe Arachchige, a protester present at Galle Face Green notes that as the protesters came in with knives and sticks the police forces retreated from the spot.

She says that the government supporters started destroying everything.

 “It seemed as if they knew what and who to look for.”

The government later imposed a nationwide curfew after over 150 people were reported injured and at least five dead in different incidents. 

Former Sri Lankan president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has warned the protestors about saboteurs who might incite violence.

The Sri Lankan government has asked the respective authorities to shoot the lawbreakers on sight in order to control the widespread violence.

Tens of thousands of army, navy and air force personnel are currently patrolling the streets of Colombo but crowds continue to gather.

Shreya Vats contributed to this report

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