Crackdown on Sri Lanka protest, hundreds arrested

Sri Lanka’s security forces arrested more than a hundred protesters after raiding the anti-government protest site in Colombo, the capital of the country, British media BBC reported on Friday.

According to the report, the operation was carried out after the swearing-in of the country’s new President, Ranil Wickremesinghe. Hundreds of army and police personnel took part in the operation at the protest site near the presidential office.

According to the country’s local news media News First, people have been arrested at the protest site. Besides, the tents where the protestors were living have been demolished.

Eyewitnesses said army personnel also demolished several temporary structures set up in the area that provide supplies to thousands of anti-government protesters since April. Hundreds of protesters were arrested at the scene.

A BBC reporter said he was beaten by army personnel and snatched his phone while he was photographing the protest site.

Ranil Wickremesinghe had already hinted at the “possible crackdown” on the protesters. After taking the oath, he said that “overthrowing the government” or “occupying a government building” is not a “democratic process”. He announced that action will be taken as per the law if any such thing is done.

Ranil Wickremesinghe was elected as the Sri Lankan President in Parliament on Wednesday. He got 134 votes in the 225-seat parliament. However, the protesters did not accept him as president. The protesters also announced the withdrawal of Ranil Wickremesinghe.

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