Tens of thousands of supporters of Sri Lanka’s deposed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have protested in the capital, Colombo, as political turmoil on the island enters its fifth day.
Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) workers staged the protest on Tuesday outside his official residence, where he has remained since President Maithripala Sirisena dismissed him last week and appointed former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as his replacement.
“We are against the sacking, the people did not vote for Sirisena to act in this manner,” Wickremesinghe told supporters from a makeshift stage.
“We will resist what the president has done,” he said, as crowds chanted “down with the rogue PM”, referring to Rajapaksa, and “respect the mandate, recall parliament.”
Effigies of Sirisena were torn up in a symbolic protest against the president’s move, which has been described by many local newspapers as a “constitutional coup”.