Sri Lanka police tear gas, water cannon protesters

STORY: Hundreds of protesters gathered near the parliament building were hit with water cannon and tear gas as they launch what they call the 'final push' of the struggle to topple the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The Protests have been led by young people and supported by opposition political parties, trade union and civil society activists and ordinary civilians.

People have been suffering from shortages of fuel, power, food and other items for weeks, and doctors say the entire health system could now collapse.

Rajapaksa's various moves - including securing financial support from India and China - have failed to end the shortages or the spontaneous street protests across the country.

Rajapaska on Wednesday said he urged Russian leader Vladimir Putin to help his cash-strapped island nation import fuel.

Sri Lanka has already bought oil from Russia to tide it over the crisis, and the government has indicated it is willing to make further purchases.