Economic crisis in Sri Lanka: Protesters rename a protest site in the village of Gotago

Sri Lankan protesters calling for the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa have renamed a protest site Gotago village.

They set up a camp named “Gota-Go-Gama” (GotaGoGama) amid a deepening economic crisis in their country.

In an effort to demand Rajapaksha’s resignation, Gota-Go-Gama was created by the protesters. It is a small model village that includes several tents outside the Sri Lankan President’s office.

This protest site is now fully functional with an uninterrupted supply of food and accommodation as well as a makeshift medical camp for health emergencies.

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

“It’s really (like) fighting for independence but it’s led by the young people of the country,” said protesting lawyer Janaka Edirisinghe.

Read also | Government struggles to overcome economic crisis: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa

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

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said the country had reached a turning point.

“The President and I are spending every moment formulating solutions to get Sri Lanka out of the current crisis,” he said.

Read also | Sri Lanka defaults on all of its external debt: Rajapaksa government

“We invited all the other parties to come forward and take up the challenge, but they didn’t, so we’ll do it on our own,” he said, also attributing the bloated external debt from Sri Lanka to the pandemic.

“Even if we cannot stop this crisis in two or three days, we will resolve it as soon as possible,” Rajapaksa said in his televised address.

“Every minute you demonstrate in the streets, we lose an opportunity to make money for the country,” he said.

“Please remember the country needs your patience at this critical time.”

The pressure on the powerful Rajapaksa family has intensified in recent days as the country’s vital business community also withdrew support from them over the weekend.

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