Sri Lankan police arrest man for sitting on President's chair during anti-government protests

Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) in Deraniyagala arrested the man for illegally entering the President's House here on July 9 when anti-government protesters stormed the iconic building, the Daily Mirror reported.
Representational picture
Representational pictureFile/ANI

Colombo, Aug 3: A 28-year-old man has been arrested for illegally entering the Sri Lankan President's House and taking photographs while sitting on the President's chair, a media report said on Wednesday.

Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) in Deraniyagala arrested the man for illegally entering the President's House here on July 9 when anti-government protesters stormed the iconic building, the Daily Mirror reported.

The then-president Gotabaya Rajapaksa had vacated his official residence a day before the protesters stormed the building.

A video circulating on social media platforms showed the man emulating Presidential credentials while sitting on the President's chair as anarchy mounted in Sri Lanka amid an unprecedented financial crisis.

The protesters, who had been occupying the presidential office building along with the president's house, the prime minister's official residence, and the office, later vacated the sites, leaving only the presidential office under their grasp.

Sri Lankan troops on July 22 forcibly cleared the presidential office building and the gate, receiving widespread international condemnation of the action.

Sri Lanka has seen months of mass unrest over the worst economic crisis and many blame the former government led by Rajapaksa and his family for mishandling the island nation's economy.

The government declared bankruptcy in mid-April by refusing to honour its international debt.

The island nation of 22 million people, is under the grip of an unprecedented economic turmoil, the worst in seven decades, leaving millions struggling to buy food, medicine, fuel and other essentials.

Sri Lanka's total foreign debt stands at USD 51 billion.

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