Curfew, Flaring Protests, Fleeing President: Top 10 Developments in Sri Lanka

From party leaders asking the acting president to step down to a countrywide curfew, catch the top 10 developments.

2 min read

As an escalating political crisis engulfs Sri Lanka, leaders at an all-party meet demanded that Prime Minister and Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe step down immediately.

He took over as acting president on Wednesday, 13 July after President Gotabaya Rajpaksa fled to the Maldives.

Meanwhile, millions in the country are struggling to buy food, medicines, fuel, and other essentials in the island nation, which has been declared 'bankrupt' by its PM.

While chaos continues to flare, here are the top 10 developments of the day:

  1. In an emergency meeting of party leaders called by the speaker, leaders have asked for PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to step down and have asked Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to take over as acting president instead.

  2. Wickremesinghe, in a statement, informed Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to nominate a PM who was "acceptable" to both the government and the Opposition.

  3. PM Wickremesinghe was appointed as the acting president on Wednesday. Later, President Gotabaya also issued a gazette stating that Ranil would "discharge" the duties of the president.

  4. Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters broke past the first line of barricades set up outside Parliament and also surrounded the speaker's house. Following this, Wickremesinghe declared a countrywide curfew until 5 am Thursday.

  5. Wickremesinghe imposed an indefinite nationwide emergency following his appointment as acting president.

  6. Embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled the country to go to the Maldives, is expected to fly to Singapore. The Indian High Commission categorically denied "baseless and speculative media reports" claiming that India facilitated his escape.

  7. Sri Lanka's Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena assured Sri Lankans that President Rajapaksa would resign on Wednesday. His resignation is still awaited. A new president is expected to be elected on 20 July.

  8. Sri Lankan's living in the Maldives protested against Gotabaya's arrival there. The Maldives National Party, too, expressed 'unhappiness' over the government's decision to let him take refuge.

  9. Earlier, massive protests erupted across Colombo, with demonstrators taking over the Prime Minister's office. One person was reported dead and over 30 were injured while security forces fired teargas to disperse the crowd.

  10. Sri Lanka's state-run TV network, Rupavahini Corporation, briefly suspended its telecast after protesters entered the TV station. The channel resumed the broadcast later.

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