Thursday, August 18, 2022

Amid curfew and emergency, Sri Lanka protesters exhort people to flock to Colombo

With President Gotabaya Rajapaksa failing to announce his resignation by 1 p.m. local time on Wednesday as promised, angry protesters surrounded the office of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is tipped to be acting president in the absence of head of the state.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered imposition of curfew in the Western Province with immediate effect and emergency law island wide. Security forces have also been directed to arrest people acting in a riotous manner and seize the lorries they are travelling in.

As the president did not step down as demanded by the protesters, they have called people to flock to the capital. The police and the military used heavy force, including tear gas and shooting in the air, to chase away protesters who are aiming to take over Prime Minister’s office.

On July 9, braving similar forces, people took control of the President’s house, his office and Prime Minister’s official residence symbolically overtaking the government and the presidency.

The President announced he would resign on Wednesday to make a replacement on July 20. On the early hours of Wednesday, the President fled the country using Antonov-32 aircraft belonging to Sri Lanka Airforce.

Airforce later justified the act saying that the president is entitled to exercise such a travel.

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