Sri Lanka’s police yesterday dispersed a rally in the capital organised to show solidarity with those protesting worldwide over the death of George Floyd in the United States, officials said.
At least 42 protestors were taken into custody, while the others were baton-charged and dispersed from near the US embassy in the capital and another location in Colombo.
“Solidarity with US protestors,” “Silence is a crime.
Raise your voice,” “Stop state terrorism in US,” and “Justice for Floyd” were among the slogans written on placards carried by the protestors outside the US embassy.
A political party known as the Frontline Socialist Party led the protest, which attracted some 300 supporters despite a court order not to go ahead with the campaign.
The courts had banned the protest on the grounds that it was a threat to people’s health and could lead to the spread of the coronavirus, as crowds would gather in close proximity for the event.
A heavy police guard was stationed outside the US embassy and the riot squad was deployed.
Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa held US citizenship until he decided to stand in last year’s presidential elections.
Sri Lanka only fully re-opened its public transportation network across the country on Monday, after 12 weeks of restrictions due to Covid-19.
A five-hour curfew at night remains in place.
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