BOZEMAN - Several Montana State University International students gathered in front of Montana Hall on Sunday to silently protest the current economic and political crisis in Sri Lanka.
“Push and press our government to take immediate action, to either leave or to take the necessary steps needed to get our country back to normal,” Anuda Pallegama said.
Pallegama is an undergraduate student at MSU and organized a group of students to take part in a nationwide protest.
“Pretty scary situation because we have our loved ones back there, we have our people, we have our family there,” Pallegama said.
Ph.D. student, Dimantha Samarajeewa, notes that the foreign reserves of the country are in ‘a fallen state right now’, leading to people dying of starvation, waiting in queues for food and fuel, and the inability to go to work with a lack of transportation.
“The government does not seem to be taking necessary actions, short term and long term,” Samarajeewa said, “To make the right decisions, the right decisions that will impact the people of Sri Lanka. To make Sri Lanka livable again is the main idea.”
The students stood in silence, holding signs reading ‘Stop the oppression, listen to the people,’ ‘Audit corrupt politicians’, and ‘Politicians in Luxury, People in Misery’. Nushara is a student, with family living in Sri Lanka.
“I’d say the situation keeps getting worse by the day, and it’s difficult knowing that my family is back in Sri Lanka, and they’re going through this,” Nushara said.
Nushara goes on to note that essential medical supplies have run out, and the country is experiencing long power cuts. The crisis can be felt throughout the country, from rural areas to the capital city.
The protesters at MSU hope to bring awareness of the hardships facing their country and to stand with their friends and family thousands of miles away.