Sri Lankan Police fire tear gas against protesters near PM's office
Colombo, July 13 (IANS) The Sri Lankan Police on Wednesday used tear gas to disperse a group of protesters near the Prime Minister's Office at Flower Road in state capital Colombo.
Protests so far on Wednesday around the state capital had been largely peaceful, with demonstrators chanting and giving speeches, the BBC reported.
An enthusiastic crowd gathered in Galle Face Green early Wednesday morning.
Chants of a popular phrase 'Aragalayata Jayawewa', or "Victory to the struggle" in Sinhalese -- which is commonly used at protests -- can be heard in the air, while some wave flags high in the air.
Others are listening to fiery speeches by fellow citizens who are flanked onstage by posters that say "Go home Gota", referring to ousted Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, BBC reported.
President Rajapaksa has fled Sri Lanka on a military jet, amid mass protests over its economic crisis.
The country's air force confirmed the 73-year-old flew to the Maldives with his wife and two security officials. They arrived in the capital Male at around 3 a.m. on Wednesday, BBC reported.
Rajapaksa's departure ends a family dynasty that has ruled Sri Lanka for decades.
The President had been in hiding after crowds stormed his residence on Saturday, and had pledged to resign on July 13.