China reminds Chinese in Sri Lanka not to participate in any protests

Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka reminds Chinese nationals not to participate in any protests, offering food donations to local people

The Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka has reminded Chinese nationals not to participate in or watch any protests, after hundreds of thousands of protesters stormed and occupied the presidential palace and set the Sri Lankan prime minister's private residence on fire in Colombo to demand the government take responsibility for mismanaging the nation's finances and for the crippling food and fuel shortages faced by the country. 

The embassy issued a notice on Saturday, reminding Chinese nationals in Sri Lanka to pay close attention to the local security situation and abide by local laws and regulations, after the protests have caused multiple injuries. The embassy also suggested Chinese nationals to be vigilant, stay safe, avoid going out, keep communication open and to keep updated with the embassy's notices and reminders. 

Both the Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe resigned on Saturday after protesters stormed the government district in Colombo over the worst economic crisis that hit Sri Lanka. 

On the same day, the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong attended a ceremony celebrating the donation of 7,060 food packs worth $150,000 by the Red Cross Society of China to Nuwara Eliya city in Central Province. 

During the ceremony, Qi stated that China sympathizes with Sri Lanka, which is facing multiple difficulties and challenges at the present time. China has been providing emergency necessities to people of various ethnic groups and in different regions of Sri Lanka using a variety of channels, hoping the donated food will also provide some help to the Chinese people's brothers and sisters in need there. 

Local officials expressed their gratitude for the donations, adding that the Chinese people are trustworthy and reliable old allies of Sri Lanka, since whenever Sri Lanka faces difficulties, the Chinese people have always extended their helping hands. The Chinese government and people's donations and assistance to Sri Lanka will always be remembered by the people of Sri Lanka. 

Nearly 300 poor people of different ethnic groups in the city received the donation and expressed their gratitude. 

Sri Lanka has suffered months of shortages of basic goods, lengthy blackouts and galloping inflation after its government ran out of foreign currency to import necessities. The government has defaulted on its $51 billion external debt and is seeking an International Monetary Fund bailout.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who came into power in May, said he will leave office once a new government is in place, and hours later the speaker of Parliament said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa would step down on Wednesday. 

Pressure on both men amounted as the economic meltdown set off severe shortages of essential items, leaving people struggling to buy food, fuel and other necessities.

Wickremesinghe stepped down after thousands descended on the government district in Colombo, shouting slogans against the president and dismantling several police barricades to reach his house. 

Police fired warning shots but were unable to stop the angry crowd from surrounding the residence. 

A spokeswoman for Colombo's main hospital said on Saturday that three people were being treated for gunshot wounds, along with 36 others suffering breathing difficulties after being caught up in tear gas barrages, according to

A mob stormed into Wickremesinghe's home on Saturday evening and set it ablaze, police and Wickremesinghe's office said. 

Both Rajapaksa and Wickremesinghe have been moved to a secure location, defense ministry sources said, according to 

Global Times