Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s palace has become a new tourist spot in Colombo after angry protesters took over the residence yesterday. On Saturday, videos emerged of the protesters taking a dip in the swimming pool, dining in the kitchen, and relaxing in bedrooms at the president’s home. Today, a sea of people were seen working out at the gym in the palace.
Dramatic visuals show several protesters running on the treadmills in the gym. The protesters also use the cardio and weight equipment in the facility.
#WATCH | Protestors tour grounds, have lunches, enjoy gym-time at Presidential palace in Colombo, Sri Lanka pic.twitter.com/yUqtracq8t
— ANI (@ANI) July 10, 2022
President Rajapaksa has fled and is currently on a Sri Lankan Navy ship, government sources told NDTV. Yesterday, the Sri Lanka government said that President Rajapaksa would resign on July 13.
But the protesters say they will not budge from Rajapaksa’s residence till he resigns. “Our struggle is not over. We won’t give up this struggle until he actually leaves,” student leader Lahiru Weerasekara told reporters today.
Sri Lanka Economic Crisis: Protestors Storm Presidential Palace in Colombo; Take a Swim in Pool and Explore the Kitchen (Watch Video)#SriLankaEconomicCrisis#SirLankaProtestors#PresidentGotabayRajapaksa#PresidentialPalace#Colombo # pic.twitter.com/SSmxIRdtKU
— Mohammad fasahathullah siddiqui (@MdFasahathullah) July 9, 2022
The dramatic events were the culmination of months of protests by people angry with the unprecedented economic crisis in Sri Lanka and the Rajapaksa family’s incompetence and corruption.
Sri Lanka is reeling under a severe foreign exchange shortage which has resulted in the worst financial crisis in almost seven decades. The country has been hit by severe food and fuel shortages along with prolonged blackouts.