Sri Lanka: Millions of rupees found in Presidential palace
Following a deep economic crisis that left Sri Lankans living in a collapsed economy, the people stormed the Presidential palace where they found large sums of money hidden.
After storming the palace of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Saturday, Sri Lankans found “millions of rupees,” according to the local Daily Mirror newspaper.
According to the Daily Mirror, protesters "recovered a large sum of money inside the mansion." Furthermore, the people took control of the palace and used its facilities, and sat in its vicinity. According to what has been reported, "the recovered money was handed over to the security units."
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled his official residence in the capital, Colombo, on Saturday, a top defense source told AFP before protesters, who had gathered around the presidential palace, stormed the compound.
"The president was escorted to safety," the source said, revealing that soldiers fired in the air to prevent the crowds from taking over the palace.
Local private broadcaster Sirasa TV showed crowds entering the residence that used to be highly guarded by security and military personnel.
A #Facebook Livestream from inside the president's house showed hundreds of protesters, some draped in flags, packing into rooms and corridors, shouting slogans against Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa.#SriLanka #SriLankaCrisis #SriLankaProtests pic.twitter.com/ceumL0o77y— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) July 9, 2022
In response, Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe summoned an urgent cabinet meeting to discuss a "swift resolution" to a potential power vacuum after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled his official residence Saturday. Protesters then stormed Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s residence which they later set on fire.
Record-high inflation & lengthy power blackouts
The country has faced record-high inflation and lengthy power blackouts, all of which have contributed to months of protests calling on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to step down.
Last week, all government schools were shut down and state institutions operated with minimum staff to reduce commuting and preserve the oil.
The state sector shutdown was meant to end this week, but it is now being extended till July 10, when Gunawardana promised to restore fuel supplies.