As the economic situation in Sri Lanka is struggling, the streets of the island nation is flooded with protestors raging against the government and demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya and Prime Minister Mahindra Rajapaksa over their alleged incompetence in assuring economic recovery in the nation.
Alongside, joining the voice for the expelling of the ‘dynast’ Rajapaksa government, the Sri Lankan diaspora in Italy came out on the streets to express their disappointment. Sri Lanka nationals who are settled in Italy are urging the Italy government as well as European Union to provide economic support to their country.
More than 1,000 Sri Lankans gathered around Central Railway Station in Milan, Italy, to protest against the government on Sunday. Protestors were seen yelling “Go Gota Go” slogans along with burning effigies of Gotabaya and Mahindra Rajapaksa. The demonstrators also raised anti-China slogans.
Several Sri Lankan organisations, including the Italy Sri Lanka Buddhists, the SL Islamic Forum of Milan, the Muslim Association of SL in North Italy, and others, participated in the protest. They have also blamed the Rajapaksa family for driving the nation into financial ruin with untrustworthy partners. Demonstrators further appealed to the EU and the Italian government for assistance.
Previously, scores of residents rallied outside the US Embassy in Colombo to protest against the incumbent government. Holding placards, they asked the Joe Biden administration to freeze the property of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the United States.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had declined calls to step down even when members of his coalition joined anti-government protests this week, with the governing party parliamentarians pushing for the creation of an interim administration to ignore potential violence.
At the same time, the Sri Lankan government is already struggling to meet the basic needs of its 22 million citizens amid an unprecedented economic crisis caused by mishandling of finances as well as ill-timed tax cuts.
The island nation is also facing a foreign exchange deficit, resulting in food, fuel, power, and gas shortages, and has sought economic assistance from friendly nations. Moreover, the parliament has so far been unable to achieve an agreement on how to address the economic crisis.