Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will step down next Wednesday, July 13, announced the speaker of parliament on Saturday, July 9. The underlying cause of the unrest is the massive economic crisis, the worst the country has experienced since it gained independence in 1948.
Sri Lanka crisis: protesters storm president’s residence
Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said in a video statement that President Rajapaksa had informed him that he would step down from his post.
“He informed me [and asked me] to tell the country that he will resign on [July] 13, Wednesday, to ensure a peaceful handover of power, announced speaker Abeywardena. “Therefore, there is no need to destabilise the country any longer. I respectfully request for the co-operation of everyone on behalf of the country and for the country’s future in order to maintain peace.”
The announcement of the President’s resignation triggered an eruption of celebratory fireworks in parts of Colombo.
After months of largely peaceful anti-government protests, the situation rapidly escalated into violence over the past several, with demonstrators storming the president’s official residence and setting fire to the home of caretaker Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, who serves in the capacity of the head of government as a caretaker PM.
Protesters break into the private residence of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Colombo and set it on fire 😓#SriLanka #LKA #SriLankaCrisis #SriLankaProtests pic.twitter.com/8KbtbzgHwc
— Sri Lanka Tweet 🇱🇰 💉 (@SriLankaTweet) July 9, 2022
Wickremesinghe replaced Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President’s brother, in mid-May. He announced he is willing to resign to make way for an all-party government.
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