People clash with the police during a protest outside the private residence of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday night. Protesters demanded the resignation of the President for failing to address the current economic crisis. Photo by Chamila Karunarathne/EPA-EFE
April 1 (UPI) -- A protest at the home of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa ended with injuries and arrests as hundreds of people chanted demands for him to resign amid the country's worsening economic crisis.
Nearly 50 people were injured as police used teargas and water cannon against the crowd of people protesting the government handling of the crisis. Forty-five people were arrested Friday morning.
Sri Lankans are having difficulty accessing basic supplies like food, gas to cook, medicines and fuel. Power outages for as long as 13 hours are happening as well.
Sri Lanka has run out of foreign currency to pay for imported goods.
The Rajapaksa family controls Sri Lanka. The Finance Minister, Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister are the brothers of the president.
According to BBC News, the protest at the president's house began without violence. Police then used tear gas and water cannons and began to beat people according to the protesters.
President Rajapaksa blamed the protest on "extreme elements."
Political scientist and commentator Jayadeva Uyangoda told BBC News that the economic crisis is the culmination of problems building for a couple of decades.
Uyangoda said the current government is responsible for "its willful mismanagement of the crisis since they came to power in 2019 by sheer incompetency, arrogance and of course corruption."