Colombo: Amid mounting pressure from protesters, Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has officially informed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that he is resigning from his post.
Rajapaksa has informed that he will be resigning as previously announced, the Prime Minister’s media unit said, according to Colombo Gazette.
Earlier, on Saturday, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced in a press conference that the President will resign from his post on July 13.
Rajapaksa’s resignation comes after thousands of people stormed into the President’s House in Fort on Saturday.
Even Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has also announced to step down from their posts amid the ongoing protests. However, the protesters who have occupied the residences of the President and Prime Minister have cleared that they will continue to occupy their houses until they resign from their posts.
The dramatic visuals came from PM’s official residence where they were seen playing carrom board, sleeping on the sofa, enjoying in park premises and preparing food for dinner.
The worsening economic situation in the country has led to increasing tensions and over the last few weeks, there were reports of several confrontations between individuals and members of the police force and the armed forces at fuel stations where thousands of desperate members of the public have queued for hours and sometimes days.
Sri Lanka is suffering its worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948, which comes on the heels of successive waves of COVID-19, threatening to undo years of development progress and severely undermining the country’s ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The oil supply shortage has forced schools and government offices to close until further notice. Reduced domestic agricultural production, a lack of foreign exchange reserves, and local currency depreciation have fuelled the shortages.
The economic crisis will push families into hunger and poverty – some for the first time – adding to the half a million people who the World Bank estimates have fallen below the poverty line because of the pandemic.