Posted: Saturday, July 9, 2022. 10:42 pm CST.
By Hugh O’Brien: Sri Lanka is currently a nation in crisis – it is a country where foreign currency, available only in trickles, has brought the economy to a grinding halt. The cash strapped nation is facing severe shortage of food, public transportation has virtually halted, school attendance has been suspended and fuel is heavily rationed.
The severe and worsening economic situation in this country of 22 million has sparked massive protests. Significant pressure has been brought on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who has been blamed for the dire state of affairs in the country. For the last two months protestors have been occupying the entrance to the office of the President demanding his resignation.
Today, the protestors manage to storm the Presidential palace, took photos on his bed and posted videos on social media showing many protestors having fun in the swimming pool that is reserved for use by the ruling elite. Protestors also attempted to burn down the residence of the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who is appointed by the President.
The President, who was not harmed, was moved to a safe location by his security personnel prior to the protestors entering his residence. According to AlJazeera, the Speaker of Parliament, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, released a televised statement announcing that President Rajapaksa has agreed to resign on July 13.
“The decision to step down on July 13 was taken to ensure a peaceful handover of power,” Speaker Abeywardena said. “I therefore request the public to respect the law and maintain peace.”
AlJazeera reports that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has also announced that he will resign but said he would not do so until a new government is formed.
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