from Sputnik News:
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has officially confirmed his intention to resign from the post to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, media reported on Monday.
The resignation will take place on July 13, as was announced by Sri Lankan parliament speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeiwardana on Saturday, according to the Ada Derana news portal, citing the prime minister’s press service.
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Last weekend, Sri Lanka’s commercial capital, Colombo, was rocked by thousand-strong protests caused by public dissatisfaction with government’s actions to fight an economic crisis. Angry crowds tore through barricades surrounding Rajapaksa’s residence, climbed over a fence and took control of the area. The president was evacuated and, according to media reports, probably left the country by plane. At least 100 people were injured as a result of the protests, including police officers and journalists, local doctors said.
Following the events, Wickremesinghe called an emergency meeting of the party leaders, which demanded that both the prime minister and the president resign immediately and provided for convening the parliament within 7 days to appoint an acting president. Abeywardana was assigned to become the country’s interim president.
Sri Lanka is currently experiencing the worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948. The crisis is primarily caused by foreign currency shortages resulting from the restriction of the tourist flow amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Such conditions have deprived the country of the opportunity to purchase enough fuel. Sri Lanka is currently not getting enough food and basic necessities, fuel and gas. Many regions are facing power outages.
In mid-April, the country announced the default
on its external debt for an interim period, pending the restructuring of those obligations under an economic structural adjustment program supported by the International Monetary Fund. Sri Lanka’s external debt is estimated at $51 billion.
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