Tear Gas, Water Cannon Used on Protesters at Sri Lanka PM's Office

Sri Lankan authorities used tear gas and a water cannon in a failed effort to disperse a large crowd of protesters outside the office of the country’s prime minister in central Colombo, footage posted on July 13 showed.

Footage livestreamed by Navayuga Kugarajah showed protesters running from tear gas and throwing bottles at a police vehicle using a water cannon.

Later in the day, protesters breached the compound and entered the prime minister’s office building.

The latest protest came after Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country to the Maldives on a military jet with his wife and two security officials, News First reported.

On July 13, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe imposed an emergency law island-wide and ordered security forces to arrest those acting in a “riotous manner,” according to the Daily Mirror.

Rajapaksa had said he would step down on July 13 after weeks of protests sparked by economic turmoil.

The Daily Mirror reported that Wickremesinghe had been appointed as the country’s acting president by Rajapaksa.

On Saturday, Wickremesinghe had announced his resignation, saying he would leave office once a new government was in place. Credit: Navayuga Kugarajah via Storyful

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