Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is willing to resign and make way for an all-party government as protesters storm the president’s residence. When Wickremesinghe became prime minister in May, protests momentarily subsided in the expectation that he would find funding for the nation’s pressing needs. His office informed him of the situation. The demonstrators flooded the streets of Columbo and marched toward the President’s secretariat. The protesters made a successful attempt to break out of the president’s residence on Saturday, demanding his resignation. It was one of the largest anti-government marches on the crisis-hit island this year.
Even though the President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, vacated the official home on Friday as an extra precaution before the planned weekend protest, two sources in the defence ministry said, his whereabouts are still unknown. The defence ministry adds that he is still a president and needs to be protected by the military unit.
Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is willing to resign and make way for an all-party government as protesters storm the president’s residence. His office informed him of the situation. The demonstrators flooded the streets of Columbo and marched toward the President’s secretariat. The protesters made a successful attempt to break out of the president’s residence on Saturday, demanding his resignation. It was one of the largest anti-government marches on the crisis-hit island this year.
The mass of screaming protestors calling for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation was too big for soldiers and police to handle as public outrage over the nation’s worst economic crisis in seven decades grows. The police fired shots in the air and used tear gas to control the situation, but it was an unsuccessful attempt. The crowd constantly chanted slogans, calling for Rajapaksa to step down. Thousands even travelled a long distance, and some even “commandeered” trains to reach the capital and join the anti-government protests.
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The finance ministry and the seafront presidential secretariat, which have been the sites of sit-in protests for months, had their gates broken open by thousands of protestors, according to TV footage. Hundreds of demonstrators poured into rooms and hallways, yelling vulgarities at the 73-year-old president, according to a Facebook video from inside the president’s home. On social media, footage of protesters standing and even taking a dip in the president’s swimming pool was widely shared.
On Friday night, police imposed a curfew in Colombo and many other major urban centers, but they lifted it early on Saturday when attorneys and opposition lawmakers objected, claiming it was unlawful.
According to a hospital spokesperson who talked to the BBC, the National Hospital of Sri Lanka in Colombo was treating at least 33 patients, including members of the security forces.
The PM calls for an emergency meeting.
While Wickremesinghe had also been moved to a secure location, a government source told Reuters. According to a statement from the prime minister’s office, Wickremesinghe met with several party leaders and discussed possible solutions to the city’s political unrest. called an emergency meeting of political party leaders and requested the speaker to summon parliament. He is also asking the Speaker to convene parliament.
Al Jazeera’s Minelle Fernandez stated in a report from Colombo that the demonstrators are insistent that the president must resign. Both the president and the prime minister need to step down right away. Political instability would deepen if that doesn’t happen. “Before Wickremesinghe resigned, former president and head of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Maithripala Sirisena said.”
What will be the next step of the parliament amid this protest, which is yet to be made public? The country is on the verge of the worst crisis for months.
Sri Lanka cries its worst days after independence
Sri Lanka is experiencing the worst financial turmoil in 70 years because of a severe foreign exchange shortage that has restricted the importation of basic goods including fuel, food, and medicine. Now that there is an economic crisis, there is a rage on the streets: there are rolling blackouts, shortages of some groceries, medicines, and fuel because of rising inflation, and the Rajapaksa family and their government are being blamed by many. Many blamed Rajpaksha for the awful situation in the country. Protests over the last months demanded his resignation. The Rajapaksa political dynasty, which has dominated Sri Lanka for the majority of the last two decades, has almost been toppled by the protesters.
Government officials banned the sale of fuel and diesel last week to balance the nationwide shortfall and conserve the nation’s depleting fuel supplies. It has asked for immediate financial assistance and attributes the issue to the Covid-19 outbreak, which all but wiped out Sri Lanka’s tourist industry, one of its main sources of foreign exchange.