Sri Lankans strike to protest government

STORY: Shops, schools and banks in the capital city of Colombo were shuttered, joining thousands of public and private sector workers in other major cities around the country in the strike.

Hundreds of university students and other protesters remained camped outside the main road to parliament where they started a sit-in on Thursday (May 5). Some hung their underwear on the barricades as an insult to the political leadership. Messages like "Gota, go home" - a rallying cry from the protests - were scrawled on some of the underpants and vests.

Hit hard by the pandemic, rising oil prices and tax cuts by the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka has been left with as little as $50 million in useable foreign reserves, the country's finance minister said this week. Shortages of imported food, fuel and medicines has led to more than a month of sporadically violent anti-government protests.

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