COLOMBO: Tens of thousands marched on beleaguered Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s office on Saturday, in the biggest protest to date over the country’s dire economic and political crisis

Sri Lanka’s 22 million people have seen weeks of power blackouts and severe shortages of food, fuel and other essentials in the country’s worst downturn since independence in 1948.

Saturday’s social-media organised protest drew the largest numbers since the crisis blew up last month according reporters.

And pressure on Rajapaksa intensified further as the country’s powerful business community also began withdrawing support for the president.

Men and women poured onto Colombo’s seafront promenade and laid siege to the colonial-era Presidential Secretariat, chanting “Go home Gota” and waving the national lion flag.

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