Sri Lankans seize new symbol of power

With tired faces but a smile on their lips, the protesters walked through the garden of the offices of Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinga. Victorious, they captured the buildings. The armed soldiers, who had violently confronted them a few hours before, watched the scene, dumbfounded.

It seems Sri Lankans don’t want to give up anymore. Despite tear gas, water canals and police accusations, they managed to invade, on Wednesday 13 July, a new symbol of strength in Colombo, the country’s capital. After storming, last Saturday, the palace and office of the President of the Republic, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and then the official residence of the Prime Minister, they called themselves to the offices of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinga.

In a small room, located at the back of the building, about thirty people crowded to watch the latest information on the flat screen of the head of government, suspended in a corner of the room. Some sit comfortably on soft white sofas or on beautiful wooden chairs covered in soft blue velvet. Others simply squatted on the floor.

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When Ranil Wickremesinga’s face appeared on TV, protesters immediately shouted at him. Extend the middle finger vertically towards the screen. Then silence falls, and everyone religiously listens to his statement. The leader’s words resonate in Sinhala. “We cannot allow the fascists to take over, Throw. The groups that came to the Prime Minister’s office have no reason to be there, they are making trouble. »

However, within these walls, we work to pack valuables and take down historical black and white photos. “They do an inventory and then record everything in order to protect these things from the crowd. Starting tomorrow, a lot of people will want to come and visit the offices.”Tharindo, a man in his thirties, comments.

The ‘Terminator’ head escaped

Curious people who learned of the takeover of the building by social networks or the media have already started pouring in. Many arrive on foot, due to the acute shortage of fuel on the island. Within a few hours, a long queue had already formed to enter and visit the colonial era building.

On Wednesday, the citizens had waited in vain for the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The latter had promised on Saturday to relinquish power on July 13. But the country woke up to the news of his escape. “Terminators”as it is nicknamed here, took off from Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, early in the morning, on an Air Force plane.

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