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Amidst Worsening Political, Social, and Economic Crisis, Sri Lanka PM Says He is ‘Willing to Resign’

Global Voices


As the economic crisis of Sri Lanka worsens and spirals to a larger socio-political disaster, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is willing to resign and make way for an all-party government. The statement comes after angry protesters stormed the President’s residence and office.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was safely evacuated from his house before thousands of protestors stormed his residence. Most of the protestors were common masses and University students, reflecting the people hit hardest by the crisis. Protestors reportedly gathered around the PM Wickremesinghe’s  residence as well.

The protestors demand the President’s resignation, in one of the largest anti-government marches on the crisis-hit island this year. The protests are the culmination of a series of events that unfolded in the island nation, leading to the worst economic crisis in the last 70 years.

Anger mounted over the ruling Rajapaksa family, whose dynasty continues in the nation for the last two decades. PM Mahinda Rajapaksa last month, and two other brothers and a nephew quit their cabinet posts earlier.

Wickremesinghe took over as prime minister in May and protests temporarily stopped in the hope he could find cash for the nation’s urgent needs. However, the protestors now call for him to resign as well, saying that he failed to keep up his promises.

A live Facebook video from inside the president’s house showed hundreds of protesters packing into rooms and corridors, shouting slogans against the beleaguered 73-year-old leader.

Footage of protesters standing, and some bathing in the swimming pool was widely circulated on social media.
Hundreds also gathered around the British-era white-washed building. No security officials were seen. The president has been moved to a secure but undisclosed location, sources claimed.

Thousands of protesters also broke the gates of the sea-front presidential secretariat and the finance ministry, which has been the site of a sit-in protest for months, and entered the premises, TV footage showed. The Military and police were unable to control the crowd, as they chanted slogans asking Rajapaksa to step down.

“Today is independence day for me being born in this nation, not 1948, because today we have fought for our freedom from the tyranny and the scoundrels and greedy politicians who have run our nation to ground zero,” said a protester.

Protestors came up with the slogan, “Pissu Gota, Pissu Ranil” (Insane Gota, Insane Ranil) to demand immediate change at the helm of affairs.

References: Aljazeera, Twitter

Featured Image source: Global Voices

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