Sri Lankans flock to tour president's occupied house

STORY: Security stood by keeping a watchful eye on the crowds but made no attempt to intervene.

One woman told Reuters she had come for a third round to get a good look at the vast property.

"The first impression was that one person lived here in luxury while many are suffering. I have come three times but I could't see the place properly. We just looked around and went," said Pushpa Kanthi.

Retiree Mohamed Maushad said he'd never seen a palace before. "Because of the 'struggle' we are able to see everything. It's a big building," he said, adding that he hoped people won't damage the property, because repair costs will come out of taxpayers' pockets.

Leaders of the protest movement have said crowds will occupy the residences of the president and prime minister in Colombo until they finally quit office. Over the weekend at the president's house, protesters jumped into the swimming pool, lounged on a four-poster bed and jostled for turns on a treadmill in the gym, before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa agreed to officially resign by Wednesday.

His brothers and nephew have also quit as ministers, as Sri Lanka began running out of fuel, food and other essentials in the worst crisis since independence from Britain in 1948.

Sri Lanka's parliament will elect a new president on July 20, its speaker said on Monday.

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