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‘We misplaced’: Unhappiness at Sri Lanka protest camp after election

COLOMBO: A sullen crowd reacted to the election of Sri Lanka’s new president with unhappiness Wednesday, close to the protest camp the place they remaining week celebrated chasing his predecessor into exile. Round 200 other folks amassed underneath a sweltering morning solar to observe the competition out of doors the presidential secretariat in Colombo, one among a number of govt constructions stormed via protesters previous this month.

Some sitting at the steps of the sandstone development closed their eyes and clasped their arms in prayer because the poll stretched into its 2nd hour. However in a while after midday, phrase briefly unfold a few of the thinning crowd that parliament had elected Ranil Wickremesinghe-a guy now feared to be making ready a crackdown on their motion.

“We’re dissatisfied, however now not shocked,” stated Nuzly Hameem, a civil engineer and activist volunteering on the patchwork tent community that sprung up across the secretariat in April, originally of the marketing campaign to oust departed president Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Hameem stated his friends had was hoping for extra from their politicians and would now wish to rethink their technique, with many exhausted. Emotions of burnout had been heightened via depression over Wednesday’s outcome. “We lost-the complete nation misplaced,” stated Damitha Abeyrathne, a distinguished Sri Lankan actress who has been a typical fixture on the protest web site in contemporary months.

Wickremesinghe changed into appearing president remaining week after his predecessor fled the rustic and introduced his resignation from Singapore. The six-time former premier is tainted in protesters’ eyes via his affiliation with Rajapaksa and his circle of relatives, who’ve been blamed via critics for riding the rustic to the edge of monetary smash.

To the dismay of the ones seated out of doors his new workplace, Wickremesinghe earned the resounding reinforce of his fellow lawmakers in Wednesday’s vote-partly via positioning himself as a law-and-order candidate for MPs who have been sufferers of mob violence. “The politicians are combating for his or her energy, they’re now not combating for the folks,” Abeyrathne advised AFP. “They have got no emotions for the people who find themselves struggling.”

‘We can proceed’

The seafront prom out of doors the secretariat used to be the scene of a weary however jubilant side road celebration remaining week to mark Rajapaksa’s resignation. Veterans of the protest movement-exhausted after tear gasoline barrages and demanding confrontations with safety forces in previous days-danced and passed out goodies in party. Wickremesinghe has known as on political warring parties to place apart their divisions and paintings in combination in tackling months of critical meals, gasoline and medication shortages.

However protesters argue that Sri Lanka can simplest extricate itself from its unheard of financial disaster with radical political reforms. They would like the curtailment of huge presidential powers that they blame for rampant corruption and a recent election inside a yr to transparent parliament of the Rajapaksa supporters who voted his successor into workplace.

“We’re struggling for a disaster which is man-made via the Rajapaksa regime, which incorporates Ranil Wickremesinghe,” Father Jeevantha Peiris, a Catholic priest intently related to the protesters, advised AFP. “As a other folks’s motion, we’re in opposition to Ranil,” he added. “We can proceed our protest, we will be able to now not forestall.” – AFP

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