Sri Lanka economic crisis: Demonstrators rename protest site to Gotago village

Written By: Dasuni Athauda WION
Colombo, Sri Lankan Updated: Apr 13, 2022, 02:50 PM(IST)

Sri Lankan protesters set up a camp named ‘Gota-Go-Gama’ (GotaGoGama) outside the president's office Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

This protest site has now become fully functional with an uninterrupted supply of food and lodging as well as a make-shift medical camp for health emergencies

Sri Lankan demonstrators calling for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to step down have renamed a protest site.

They have set up a camp named ‘Gota-Go-Gama’ (GotaGoGama) amid a deepening economic crisis afflicting their country.

Gota-Go-Gama is a small model village that includes several tents outside the Sri Lankan president's office.

This protest site has now become fully functional with an uninterrupted supply of food and lodging as well as a make-shift medical camp for health emergencies.

It shows not only the frustration and anger of protesters, but also the resilience and unity of the Sri Lankan youth.

"This is really (like) fighting for independence but it is led by the youths of the country," said protesting lawyer Janaka Edirisinghe.

Also read | Govt is working to overcome economic crisis: Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa

The island nation of 22 million people announced Tuesday that it was suspending payments on its $51 billion foreign debt.

Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said the country had reached a decisive juncture.

"The President and I are spending every moment to formulate solutions on how to get Sri Lanka out of this current crisis," he said.

Also read | Sri Lanka defaulting on all its external debt: Rajapaksa government

"We invited all other parties to come forward and take up the challenge, but they did not, so we will do it on our own," he said, also blaming Sri Lanka's ballooning foreign debt on the pandemic.

"Even if we can’t stop this crisis in two or three days, we will solve it as soon as possible," Rajapaksa said in his televised address. 

"Every minute you protest on the streets, we lose an opportunity to earn dollars for the country," he said.

"Please remember that the country needs your patience at this critical moment."

Pressure on the powerful Rajapaksa family has intensified in recent days, with the country's vital business community also withdrawing support for them over the weekend. 

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