Colombo: Demanding the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, anti-government Sri Lankan protesters on Saturday stormed the President’s House in Colombo braving several police and military barricades and tear gas shells.
Security forces fired teargas and water cannons to disperse the protesters but later withdrew and resorted to firing in the air.
At least 20 people have been hospitalised following violent clashes between the police and the protesters.
Since early Saturday night, there were attempts to disperse the protesters and university students who had occupied the area near the President’s House overnight.
The President’s whereabouts are currently unknown but it is suspected that he is at the heavily-guarded Army headquarters in Battaramulla.
A major people’s protest march to Colombo from around the island for Saturday has been planned by religious leaders, political parties, medical practitioners, university teachers, civil rights activists, farmers, and fishermen on Saturday demanding the resignation of President Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
On Friday night, authorities enforced an indefinite curfew in entrance areas to Colombo and the Defence Ministry had warned police and military have been empowered to act against those engaging in any form of violence.