Protesters demanding the resignation of the President of Sri Lanka blocked all entrances to the Presidential Secretariat; 21 arrested

COLOMBO: A group of protesters in Sri Lanka with a request for the resignation of the President Gotabaja Rajapksa due to poor economic governance, it blocked all entrances to the presidential secretariat here, forcing police to arrest 21 people on Monday, including a Buddhist monk and four women.
The island nation, home to about 22 million people, is currently facing its worst economic crisis in more than 70 years. Sri Lanka’s economy is experiencing huge fuel shortages, rising food prices and a shortage of medicines.
The demonstration at GotaGoGama, a protest site on the Gale Face, entered on the 73rd day on Monday.
Protesters last night blocked both entrances to the presidential secretariat, except for the one they have been blocking since April 9th.
Police arrested 21 people, including a Buddhist monk and four women. Police said the last action of protesters to block the two gates that provide access to the Ministry of Finance and the Government Treasury was not necessary. Police wanted to clear both gates as an IMF team had to visit the finance ministry.
IN International Monetary Fund the team is visiting colombo to continue discussions on a possible bailout program in support of the island nation’s economic recovery.
The GotaGoGama protest demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa began on April 9.
Protesters blame the government for mismanagement of the economy, which has led to soaring commodity prices and the country’s reserves have plummeted to record lows.
The Colombo protest has spread to other parts of the country with wider public support.
Sri Lanka has failed to pay its debt for the first time in its history as the country struggles with its worst financial crisis in more than 70 years.
Sri Lanka is seeking to restructure more than $ 50 billion in debt it owes to foreign creditors to make it more manageable to repay.
Chronic shortages of foreign exchange and rising inflation have led to severe shortages of medicines, fuel and other basic necessities.
Sri Lanka expects official confirmation from India for a new credit line that will allow the non-cash country to have gas and diesel supplies for the next four months, the energy minister said. Kanchana Visesekara said Friday.
On Tuesday, the Prime Minister Ranil Vikremesinghe said a new credit line provided by india would support the island nation’s limited fuel purchase for another four months in july, even as a 3,500-metric tonne propane shipment reached sri lanka.

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