When the Street Roars
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Enraged Sri Lankan protesters stormed the prime minister’s residence after Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country Wednesday, the day he was set to officially resign following months of anti-government demonstrations over Sri Lanka’s dire economic situation, CNN reported.
He had announced over the weekend that he would resign on July 13 came after thousands of demonstrators stormed and occupied his residence. On Wednesday, the president and his family escaped to the Maldives, after appointing Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe – who also was due to resign – as acting president.
Amid the chaos, Wickremesinghe initially declared a state of emergency and a curfew but rescinded the orders later. Meanwhile, protesters demanded both Rajapaksa and Wickremesinghe step down, Reuters reported.
The recent upheaval follows months of unrest over economic hardships, including soaring inflation, blackouts and shortages of fuel and medicine.
Protesters have blamed the president and his brother, former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, for the high-level corruption and mismanagement that has bankrupted the country.
Meanwhile, parliament is set to appoint a new president next week, with a key governing party source telling Reuters that Wickremesinghe was the party’s first candidate.
However, Wickremesinghe clinging to power would anger demonstrators who say he is a close associate of the Rajapaksa family, which has governed the nation since Mahinda became president