Arjuna Ranatunga, Sri Lanka’s World Cup-winning cricket captain, and fellow ex-skipper Sanath Jayasuriya have joined public protests calling for President Mahinda Rajapaksa to resign over the country’s economic crisis.
The island nation is in the midst of its worst economic crisis since its 1948 independence, with chronic shortages of critical products and frequent blackouts wreaking havoc.
While the protest continued outside Rajapaksa’s office in Colombo on Friday, Ranatunga said, “Today, our fans are taking to the streets because they can no longer tolerate the sufferings. We have to be there for our fans when they need us the most. Prominent athletes must physically participate in the protests.”
Jayasuriya was seen climbing the barricades in front of Rajapaksa’s colonial-era office to express his support for the demonstrators.
Following this, former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardena has publicly welcomed the protests and urged Rajapaksa to resign. However, ex-captain Kumar Sangakkara has been more discreet.
However, Arjuna Ranatunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa are the first to join the protest.