Tear Gas and Water Cannons Deployed

May 10, 2022

At approximately 1330 local time (0800 UTC) on 9 May 2022, police officers in the capital Colombo deployed tear gas and water cannons against government supporters who were attacking anti-government protesters near Galle Face Green park. According to local authorities, government supporters initially attacked the demonstrators after attending a meeting with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa — President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s brother — at his Temple Trees office. Following the attack, government supporters proceeded to the nearby MynaGoGama and GotaGoGama protest sites, where they destroyed private property and clashed with anti-government demonstrators. At least 130 people were injured in the violence. Shortly afterward, government authorities declared a nationwide curfew amid the ongoing state of emergency that began on 7 May. Later in the day, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned from office, following weekslong demonstrations outside of his office in Colombo demanding his resignation. Despite the prime minister’s resignation, opposition supporters have vowed to continue demonstrations and a general strike until President Rajapaksa resigns from office.

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