They did jump into the pool. They were lounging on canopy beds. On widescreen TVs, they watched cricket and news footage of other protesters who had gathered in the Sri Lankan capital to join them in storming the presidential residence and secretariat.
After months of worsening economic deprivation, fuel and food shortages and increasingly desperate protests, live images from Colombo show a rare moment of relief as demonstrators who actually occupy seats of executive power take a moment to appreciate these luxuries.
Inside the official residence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled to an unknown location the previous day, protesters swam in the clear blue waters of an outdoor pool, while others huddled on the edge. Some people found a gym where they watched a man do curls on a bench. Others rest on the grass in manicured gardens.
Demonstrators crowded the stairs and took pictures in the spacious foyer of the official residence, the official residence of British governors during the colonial era. Some cooked curries and snacks for protesters, while others showered in bathrooms or posed for pictures at their desks.
lens Published by Sri Lankan news outlet The Daily Mirrorwhich appeared to show protesters exploring a secret passageway to a safe room below the building.
They held Sri Lankan flags, chanted condemnation of Mr. Rajapaksa and his powerful family, huddled on beds and sofas, celebrated the news that the president had been asked to step down, and pondered what happened next in their country.