Sri Lankan PM agrees to quit in biggest political turmoil

AP , Saturday 9 Jul 2022

Sri Lanka's Prime Minister has agreed to resign after party leaders in Parliament demanded both he and the embattled president step down on the day protesters stormed the president's residence and office.

 Sri Lankan
Protesters, many carrying Sri Lankan flags, gather outside the presidents office in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday, July 9, 2022. AP


Leaders of political parties in Parliament met after the storming of the president's residence and decided to request Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to step down, opposition lawmaker Rauff Hakeem said on Twitter.

He said a consensus was reached that the parliamentary speaker should take over as temporary president and work to form an interim government, he said.

The prime minister's spokesman, Dinouk Colambage, said Wickremesinghe told party leaders that he will resign when all parties have agreed on forming a new government.

His decision came after the biggest protest yet swept Sri Lanka on Saturday as tens of thousands of people broke through barricades and entered President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's residence and nearby office to vent their fury against a leader they hold responsible for the nation's worst economic crisis.

It was not clear if Rajapaksa was inside his residence but footage showed hundreds of people inside the well-fortified house and on the grounds outside, some taking a dip in the garden pool and others in a jubilant mood.

Sri Lanka's economy is in a state of collapse, muddling through with aid from India and other countries as its leaders try to negotiate a bailout with the International Monetary Fund.

The economic meltdown has led to severe shortages of essential items, leaving people struggling to buy food, fuel and other necessities.

Short link: