Thousands of students attempted to attack the Sri Lankan president’s home on Sunday, and police fired tear gas to disperse them as the government offered an olive branch to activists demanding his resignation.
As enraged protestors tore down yellow iron barricades across a road leading to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s official house in Colombo, anti-riot teams used water cannon followed by tear gas.
Thousands of men and women protested outside Rajapaksa’s beachside office for the 51st day in a row, demanding that he resign over the country’s worst economic crisis since independence.
On Sunday evening, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe went on national television to offer young demonstrators a greater role in how the country is run.
“The youth are demanding a change in the current system,” says one participant “Wickremesinghe said this while putting out proposals for 15 committees that would collaborate with parliament to make national policy decisions.
“I propose that four young members be appointed to each of the 15 committees,” says the proposal “He went on to say that they may come from the current demonstrators.
Authorities tried to disperse massive groups, and chemical irritants hovered over the streets of Colombo as a result of the protests.
Several guys were spotted scooping up tear gas canisters and hurling them back at the officers who had fired them.
Female medical and science students joined the demonstrations, with many fleeing as officials used water cannons.
Wickremesinghe is not a member of Rajapaksa’s party, but was appointed after Mahinda Rajapaksa, the president’s elder brother, resigned as prime minister on May 9 after weeks of demonstrations and no other legislator volunteered to take his place.
Wickremesinghe is the United National Party’s sole parliamentary representative, a once-dominant political movement that was virtually wiped out in Sri Lanka’s recent elections.