Colombo: Sri Lanka celebrated Thursday evening after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigned after fleeing to Singapore.
Rajapaksa left the island nation Wednesday, first to Male in Maldives and then Singapore.
He had appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the country’s acting president. Rajapaksa’s final destination is unclear, though local media said he and his wife, Ioma Rajapaksa, would stay put in Singapore and not travel to Jeddah as reported earlier.
A new President is set to be elected on 20 July after the resumption of Parliament on 16 July, said a CNN report.
Following Wednesday’s violence, military vehicles were seen patrolling the streets of Colombo Thursday to quash any further protests.
#WATCH | Sri Lanka: Military armoured vehicles seen on the roads of Colombo as massive protests continue to simmer in the island-nation#SriLankaCrisis pic.twitter.com/ihFvTo20rG
— ANI (@ANI) July 14, 2022
Reports also said members of Sri Lanka’s armed forces and the police have, in terms of provisions vested in them by the Constitution, been “empowered to enforce law and order of the country and maintain the same in order to protect her people, public property and the country at large at the expense of their own lives”.
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‘Peacefully withdrawing from all buildings’
Earlier in the day, ‘GotagoGama’ protesters announced that they would peacefully hand over government-occupied buildings, including the President’s house, the Presidential secretariat, and the Prime Minister’s Office to restore peace.
On 9 July, protesters occupied President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s presidential palace and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s official house. The Prime Minister’s Office was overrun Wednesday.
“We are peacefully withdrawing from all buildings except the old parliament (president’s office) and Galle Face (the continuous protest site). We will continue to remain in these places, we will continue to protest until we reach our goals,” a spokesperson told reporters.
Sri Lanka faces the worst economic crisis in decades as citizens struggle with soaring inflation.
Meanwhile, the other Rajapaksa brothers, former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and former finance minister Basil Rajapaksa told the country’s Supreme Court that they would stay in the country till at least Friday. This was in response to a petition filed by anti-corruption body Transparency International seeking action against “persons responsible for the current economic crisis”, reports said.
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