Head of State announces resignation: Protesters storm Rashtrapati Bhavan in Sri Lanka

Head of State announces resignation: Protesters storm Rashtrapati Bhavan in Sri Lanka

head of state announces resignation
Protesters storm Rashtrapati Bhavan in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan government is kneeling in the face of massive protests in which hundreds of thousands of people are taking part. When protesters stormed his residence, President Rajapaksa went into hiding. Absurd scenes are taking place in the house of another member of the government.

He is facing resignation after hundreds of protesters stormed the residence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka. According to information received from security circles, the security forces were successful in evacuating the head of state shortly before the storm. Later, Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Abhaywardhan announced that Rajapaksa had agreed to step down next week.

After storming the presidential palace, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who would perform his duties if the president resigned, called a special government meeting with opposition politicians and offered to resign. To “ensure the safety of citizens”, Wickremesinghe “agreed to the recommendation of opposition leaders” to clear the way for a new unity government, his office said.

However, he was apparently unable to quell the anger of the protesters: in the afternoon, a mob also entered Wickremesinghe’s private residence and set it on fire, as announced by the Prime Minister’s Office. Photos on the online network showed a crowd cheering for fire.

Hundreds of people took to the streets

The severe economic crisis has led to massive protests in Sri Lanka for weeks. According to the police, thousands of people had gathered at Rajapaksa’s official residence in the morning. TV footage showed hundreds of people climbing the fence of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. According to defense sources, the soldiers fired in the air to push the crowd back until Rajapaksa was safe.

The protesters then strolled through the palace relatively unhindered. Videos live on online networks showed the president splashing something in the swimming pool and laughing in the palace bedrooms. People also entered the nearby presidential office, in front of which the protesters have been camping for three months.

According to defense circles, the head of state was “taken to security” outside the capital and was being guarded by the military in a secret location. Private TV stations showed a convoy of vehicles at Colombo International Airport. It is not clear whether Rajapaksa will leave the country. The protesters are blaming him and the government for the country’s disastrous economic condition.

According to government representatives, it was initially not entirely clear how to proceed. A senior official said, “We are waiting for the instructions. In the afternoon, Parliament Speaker Abhay Vardhan announced the resignation of the head of state in a televised speech. “To ensure a peaceful transition, the president said he would step down on July 13,” he said.

government lifts curfew

Authorities imposed a curfew on Friday to prevent protests on Saturday. However, the order was lifted after pressure from opposition parties, lawyers and human rights activists. He was largely ignored by the protesters anyway. According to officials, around 20,000 soldiers and police officers were sent to Colombo to protect the President. Three people injured by the bullets were taken to the capital’s biggest hospital. According to the hospital, 36 others were treated for shortness of breath after using tear gas.

Due to the severe economic crisis, the government is no longer able to finance the most important imports such as food, fuel and medicines. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka has sought help from the International Monetary Fund and Russia.

Mass protests against the government intensified for the first time in May. Nine people died and hundreds of others were injured. The government of Mahanda Rajapaksa then resigned. The brother of the resigned head of government, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, remained in office. A major cause of the worst economic crisis since the South Asian country gained independence in 1948 was the slowdown in international tourism as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. He also accused the government of mismanagement.

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