During the protests in the island nation, 33 people have already been injured. All of them are hospitalized.
Two of the wounded are in critical condition, according to local media, citing a source in the hospital.
Earlier, protesters seized the residence of the President of Sri Lanka. The activists overcame the barricades, climbed over the fence and took control of the building, getting inside. They bathed in clothes in the pool of the leader of the country, Gotabay Rajapaksa, and also perched on his bed.
Alexei Chepa, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, said in an interview with the Govorit Moskva radio station that the causes of the crisis were purely economic. The country’s authorities have made too many mistakes in governance, but the situation can be corrected, Chepa believes.
“I was there when the unrest began, I met with the leadership of Sri Lanka. The country found itself in a difficult situation, and the reasons for this are the economic mistakes made during the covid epidemic. The country has introduced too serious lockdown measures, thereby limiting the main source of income – tourism. At the same time, they spent infrastructure costs that were planned earlier. All this led to a serious economic crisis, which was taken advantage of by certain opposition forces.
I think that help should be. Russia is in a position to provide appropriate support. Our relationship has always been good. Their mood is officially pro-Russian. Deliveries will be discussed. We have recently sent seven ships with coal there, they were planned. But they ask for a certain amount of fuel – diesel, gasoline. With these deliveries, we will completely close all the problems.”
Chepa also claimed the involvement of the UK and the US in the protests in Sri Lanka. Western intelligence agencies use the crisis situation on the island in their own interests, the source said. India and China can also have their influence.
“Of course, there is always influence from outside and always will be. And every intelligence agency tries to use any situation to its advantage. This is both the UK and America. There are other countries – the interests of India and China. I think that it is necessary to solve the issues of easing the economic situation in the country, and this will close all the problems of the opposition, that is, to provide hydrocarbons for a certain period of time. It will ease the tension.”
According to media reports, Gotabaya Rajapakse left the country on a private jet. He left his residence a few minutes before the building was occupied. Rajapakse is still considered the head of state and is guarded by the military.
At the beginning of the month, Sri Lankan authorities warned of an acute shortage of fuel. According to the Minister of Energy of the country, Kanchan Widgeseker, there is less than a day of gasoline left. Its next shipment is expected only at the end of July. He also urged Sri Lankans living abroad to send money home to fund new oil purchases.
In connection with the crisis, the President of Sri Lanka asked Vladimir Putin to help with oil. Gotabaya Rajapaksa sent a letter to the Russian leader asking for cooperation in procurement.