Sri Lankans converge on presidential palace

On Saturday, thousands of angry Sri Lankans descended on the residence in fury against President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

By

World News

July 11, 2022 - 4:15 PM

People pose for pictures inside the Sri Lanka's presidential palace, in Colombo on July 10, 2022, a day after it was overrun by anti-government protestors.(ARUN SANKAR/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Hundreds of Sri Lankans jostled Monday to use the vast array of exercise machines in the private gym of the presidential palace, lifting weights and running on treadmills inside a facility that was, until now, the exclusive domain of the country’s beleaguered president.

For many who had traveled on overcrowded trains and buses from outside the capital, Colombo, this was the first time they had laid eyes on a residence so grand. The colonial-era structure was a staggering sight, with airy verandas, plush living rooms and spacious bedrooms, a garden swimming pool and neatly manicured lawns.

On Saturday, thousands of angry Sri Lankans descended on the residence in fury against President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who they blame for an unprecedented economic meltdown that has throttled the lives of the nation’s 22 million people. 

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