Sri Lankan authorities used tear gas 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.
In footage by Thyagi Ruwanpathirana, protesters can be seen climbing on top of vehicles and security fencing outside the office complex. Some can be seen throwing bottles toward the entrance.
Later in the footage, bangs and loud pops can be heard as the crowd cheers. Tear gas clouds rise at the front of the demonstration causing the crowd to disperse. As people retreat, some can be seen pouring water into their eyes.
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: Thyagi Ruwanpathirana via Storyful