As violence breaks out across Colombo, acting President, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has defended the imposition of a state of emergency, accusing the protesters of resorting to fascism.
Addressing the country, he maintained that this fascism must be eliminated and ordinary people's homes protected. This follows the burning of his private residence over the weekend, which some have blamed on pro-Rajapaksa elements.
He ordered the military to "do whatever is necessary to restore order". "We can't tear up our constitution. We can't allow fascists to take over. We must end this fascist threat to democracy," he said
The news comes as protesters have breached the Prime Minister's office, and security forces have been deployed to quell the unrest. There are reports of security forces deploying tear gas and firing shots to dispel protesters. Demonstrators have continued their occupation and have been seen chanting;
“Ranil lunatic, Gota lunatic” while banging drums.