Like his neighbors, he was frustrated by the more than 10-hour power cuts that plunged Colombo into darkness, and a shortage of gas to cook with that made it hard for his family to eat.
Then on Thursday — the fourth night — the protest turned violent.
Furious demonstrators hurled bricks and started fires outside Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s private residence, as police used tear gas and water cannons to break up the protests.
“People were visibly angry, shouting,” said Upul, who asked only to be referred to by his last name for fear of repercussions. “Earlier (in the week) they demanded the President to step down, (on Thursday) they were yelling and calling him names.”
For weeks, Sri Lanka has been battling its worst economic crisis since the island nation gained independence in 1948, leaving food, fuel, gas and medicine in short supply, and sending the cost of basic…