Speaking in Sri Lanka's parliament earlier this week, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MP Major Sudharshana Denipitiya claimed that the 'Aragalaya' protesters are "funded by the LTTE diaspora with hopes to ruin the country."
According to Economy Next, the MP said that "this not the time when we should be taking part in #Aragalaya but a time we should step forth and help the country."
For months, protesters have been camped out at Galle Face Green in Colombo demanding the resignation of former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, for his role in the island's worst economic crisis since independence. Following Rajapaksa's resignation, Ranil Wickremesinghe was appointed president but within hours of being sworn in, Sri Lankan troops stormed the longstanding protest site at Galle Face destroying the settlement where less than a hundred protesters were camping. Atleast 50 were injured as a result of the crackdown.
Earlier this month, Wickremesinghe 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
Since then, Wickremesinghe has imposed a state of emergency, granting Sri Lanka's security forces greater powers to detain people, limit public gatherings and search private property. Over the last week, there have been a series of arrests in a renewed crackdown on anti-government protest organisers.