Protesters who stormed President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's house on Saturday amid the country's worst economic crisis claimed to have recovered a large sum of money from the mansion.
Protesters in Sri Lanka who stormed President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s residence on Saturday found "millions of rupees" in the mansion, Colombo’s Daily Mirror reported on Sunday.
According to the article, the protesters reportedly "recovered a large sum of money inside the mansion." Videos are posted on social networks of the rioters counting the unearthed currency notes. It is reported that "the recovered money was handed over to the security units."
Another video showed huge suitcases being loaded on board a Sri Lanka Navy ship that were reported to belong to the Rajapaksa family.
On Saturday, the protesters also took over the residence of Sri Lanka’s president. Videos that went viral showed thousands of people swarming the colonial-era mansion with some of them swimming in the pool, while others ate in the kitchen, went viral on social media.
They also stormed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s residence which they later set on fire.
The protests sparked by financial and economic crises have engulfed the country since early April. As Wickremesinghe told TASS in an exclusive interview, Sri Lanka is hit hard by the worst crisis in modern history, and the island nation’s politicians cannot yet find parallels to such a crisis in this century or in the last century or the century before. According to the prime minister, the country is currently in the middle of the crisis.
Wickremesinghe pointed out that Sri Lanka was facing severe shortages of foreign currencies, fuel and petroleum products, fertilizers, food for some groups of the population, and medicines. According to his estimates, it will take three years or even more to recover from the economic crisis.
The country is struggling under a severe foreign exchange shortage that has limited essential imports of fuel, food and medicine, plunging it into the worst economic crisis since independence in 1948.
Soaring inflation, which reached a record 54.6% in June has added to the crushing burden of the population.
Political instability could undermine Sri Lanka's talks with the International Monetary Fund at a time when it is desperately seeking a $3 billion bailout to help it buy essential goods to sustain the daily needs of the people.
Also read: Video: Suitcases being loaded on Sri Lanka Navy ship as President Gotabaya flees