For more than two years, Mohammad Imran’s two children have been unable to attend school regularly in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. It was first the pandemic. Now, it’s the economic crisis, where fuel has become scarce and the cost of everything from food to transportation has skyrocketed on the island nation.
To conserve fuel, the government was forced to close schools in the wake of this latest incident. His salary, according to Mr. Imran, an insurer manager, barely covers the basic necessities. He’s cutting back on luxuries, like the family’s weekly dinner at a restaurant.
“They’ve been opening and closing the schools now for years,” said Mr. Imran. “My children are not able to learn anything this way.”
He wanted to make his kids have fun on Eid al-Adha Sunday, which is one of Islam’s most important holidays. Barerah, 11 years old, and Thameem (5 years) drove him to the presidential residence. Protesters had overthrown the building the day before. His allies said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has resigned and fled. But he hasn’t made a public statement since the protests.
Visiting a symbol of the protest’s success is a fitting Eid celebration, Mr. Imran said. “I’m happy that he left,” he said, referring to the president. “Change is good.”
As he took in the majestic grounds and a swimming pool that protesters have availed themselves of since breaking in, he added: “To see the kind of lifestyle he had, I feel it’s good for their education.”