Source: news.sky.com : 2022-07-11 07:13:00 :
People swimming in the president of Sri Lanka’s pool say they will remain at the official residence in Colombo until Gotabaya Rajapaksa finally leaves office.
Protesters have also stormed the home of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, demonstrating against an economic catastrophe that has left many struggling to afford two meals a day.
Both men have said they will step down.
Mr Rajapaksa is due to depart on Wednesday, according to the parliamentary speaker, but there has been no direct word from him.
However, Mr Rajapaksa has confirmed to Mr Wickremesinghe that he will be resigning, the prime minister’s office said on Monday.
But many people “don’t believe it and won’t believe it until they see it in action”, said Sky News correspondent Nicole Johnston, who has been talking to protesters at the president’s home.
“Until that happens they’re going to continue to occupy the president’s house as well as a number of key buildings around the city,” Johnston added.
Many have taken their children with them as they survey the opulence. Schools have been closed for the last couple of weeks because there isn’t enough electricity to run them.
The country has “burned through all its foreign currency (and) doesn’t have enough money for food, fuel, or medicine,” Johnston added.
Consequently, it has been begging for money from the International Monetary Fund, Japan, Russia, China and Qatar.
“Public servants have been told to take Friday off, to go home and grow food,” Johnston said.
“They’ve also been told that for five years they can go abroad, take another job, send that money back to Sri Lanka and then eventually they’ll still have their job here. That’s just how desperate this country is.”
The mood has changed since Saturday, however, a day when tens of thousands of people took to the streets in frustration.
It is now “almost a festival or carnival atmosphere here”, Johnston said.
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