The entrance to the building has been blocked by protesters since April 9. On 9 July, protesters stormed the building and occupied it. Police and security forces raided the building early last Friday on the orders of the beleaguered island nation’s new president Ranil. Wickremesinghe,
Officials said the presidential secretariat, which was occupied by protesters from July 9 to Friday, was reopened and staff reported back to work on Monday.
The security forces had already opened the Galle Road in front of the Secretariat for traffic.
Protest, also known as argalaya – a Sinhalese word for “struggle”, disrupts work for long periods of time President’s Secretariat, which had suffered heavy damage during the movement and required necessary repairs. Cleaning and repairs were carried out over the weekend to prepare the President’s Secretariat for reopening.
Protesters are camping outside the President’s office demanding the resignation of former President Rajapaksa and Rajapaksa’s key aide Wickremesinghe. Protesters have blamed Rajapaksa and Wickremesinghe for the mismanagement of the economy, which has left the country’s 22 million people struggling to buy fuel, food and basic necessities.
The use of force to dislodge the protesters was condemned by the international community and rights groups. However, the government defended the move.
President Wickremesinghe has said he will support peaceful protesters, but will be tough on those who try to promote violence under the guise of peaceful protests.
The government said that investigations are underway into the possession of the President’s Secretariat, damage caused by the occupation and the alleged theft of some valuables from the building.
In another development, a gun that was snatched by protesters from a soldier during an attempt to break into Sri Lanka’s parliamentary compound earlier this month has been recovered, police said here on Monday.
Navy divers found a T56 rifle snatched from a soldier by protesters during a search operation on the Diwana bridge on 13 July. Parliament On Saturday, he said.
Mass protests on 13 July led to an attempt to break into the parliamentary complex in continuation of the popular uprising on 9 July, which forced the then president to flee Gotabaya Rajapakse From the country to Maldives and then to Singapore.
Police said the protesters snatched arms and ammunition from a soldier during the protest.