Updated July 24th, 2022 at 21:05 IST

Sri Lankan protesters 'condemn brutal attack', pledge to continue 'non-violent protests'

Sri Lanka: Calling the action of authorities "brutal," the protesters have said that they will continue to hold the protest in case they are attacked.

Reported by: Apoorva Kaul
Image: AP/PTI | Image:self

Amid the ongoing economic crisis, the protesters in Sri Lanka have condemned the actions of authorities against the demonstrators at Galle Face in Colombo. Calling the action of authorities "brutal", the protesters have said that they will continue to hold the protest in case they are attacked, according to ANI. The statement of protesters came after security personnel conducted a raid near the Presidential Secretariat and the site of protests at Galle Face. 

"We just want to condemn this brutal attack on the very peaceful creative protesters. We have been protesting for more than 105 days," One of the protester said at a press conference as per ANI.  

Addressing a press conference, the protesters said that several arrests have been made as the police launched the raid at the Presidential Secretariat and the protest site at Galle Face in a bid to clear the area of protesters. The protester claimed that they were being targeted "brutally" and called the action of authorities "torture." The protester claimed that he had seen police using weapons to target demonstrators and called the action "inhuman." Another protester said that the attack on protesters was to demonstrate the power of Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe. He added that the authorities removed the protesters from the site but they had again started heading towards the site after eight hours. 

"We condemn this kind of brutal attack on peaceful protesters. We have been doing this as a protest of love in order to change society, in order to have justice. And we will continue this peaceful non-violent protest," the protester said in a press conference as per ANI. 

Protesters call on police to take responsibility for attack

A protester in the press conference said that police personnel justified their actions by showing isolated incidents and claimed that the police force should have taken action at the very moment. The protester claimed that they did not provoke violence and accused police personnel of "inciting violence" against them. According to the protester, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe does not seek democracy. He added that the protesters are ready to act if this is how Wickremesinghe would make democracy function in Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, another protester asserted that the police needs to take responsibility for the attack on demonstrators on July 22. 

"We would like to inform Ranil and the state that if this is the way you gonna show us that democracy works, well we are ready for this too. If losing our life means saving this country, then all of us are ready for this," the protester said as per ANI.

Security personnel vacate main anti-govt protest camp   

On July 22, Sri Lankan security personnel vacated the main anti-government protest camps from the Galle Face Green, according to AP. This came after the newly-elected President Ranil Wickremesinghe deployed forces o restore law. The security personnel of Sri Lanka set up barricades outside the premises of the Sri Lankan Presidential Secretariat in Colombo, according to ANI. The protesters accused the police personnel of launching raids at the anti-government protest camps in Colombo on Friday. The people of Sri Lanka took to the streets for months demanding the resignation of the leaders over the economic crisis in the island nation. The economic crisis resulted in a shortage of medicine, food and other essential services. Earlier this month, protesters barged into the Presidential palace and government buildings to demand the resignation of then President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa fled the nation and tendered resignation after the protesters stormed the presidential palace. 

Inputs from ANI, AP

Image: AP/PTI



Published July 24th, 2022 at 21:05 IST