Sri Lankan police tear-gas students
Attempts to assault the Sri Lankan President's residence on Sunday were reported.
Police used tear gas to disperse thousands of students attempting to assault the Sri Lankan President's residence on Sunday.
Water cannons and tear gas were deployed by anti-riot squads as demonstrators tore down yellow iron barriers across a road leading to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's official house in Colombo.
Thousands of men and women rallied outside Rajapaksa's beachside office for the 51st consecutive day on Sunday, demanding that he resign in the face of the country's greatest economic crisis since independence.
On Sunday evening, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe appeared on national television and offered young demonstrators a bigger role in how the country is run.
Wickremesinghe outlined proposals for 15 committees that will collaborate with Parliament to determine national policy, acknowledging that "the youth are calling for a change in the existing system."
"I propose to appoint four youth representatives to each of the 15 committees," he stated, pledging they would be chosen from among the protesters.
Wickremesinghe is not a member of Rajapaksa's party but was appointed when the President's elder brother Mahinda quit as Prime Minister on May 9 following weeks of demonstrations and no other legislator consented to take over.
Wickremesinghe is the lone parliamentary representative of Sri Lanka's once-powerful United National Party, which was virtually wiped out in the country's recent elections.
Rajapaksa's party, which has a majority in Parliament, has provided him with the necessary backing to form a government.
Read more: Crisis-stricken Sri Lanka gets Russian oil to ease shortages
Sunday's student demonstration followed a similar battle the day before when protesters attempted to attack Rajapaksa's strongly guarded colonial-era official palace, where he has been holed up since hundreds encircled his private home on March 31.
The administration requested urgent financial aid from the IMF last month, and negotiations are still ongoing.
In addition, the nation has defaulted on its $51 billion foreign debt.
The island nation is experiencing its greatest economic catastrophe since independence, with fuel and other essential goods shortages making life unpleasant for its 22 million people.