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Sri Lankan president to resign as protesters storm his home, set it on fire

FILE- Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa sings the national anthem of Sri Lanka during the country’s Independence Day celebration in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Feb. 4, 2022. Sri Lanka’s president appointed 17 new Cabinet ministers on Monday as he and his powerful family seek to resolve a political crisis resulting from the country’s dire economic state. (G3 Box News Photo/Eranga Jayawardena) Eranga Jayawardena/G3 Box News

Sri Lankan president to resign as protesters storm his home, set it on fire

Jenny Goldsberry

July 09, 04:29 PM July 09, 04:29 PM

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka has announced he will resign Wednesday, per the parliamentary speaker.

Rajapaksa’s resignation was met with fireworks displays in the country’s capital of Colombo after protesters stormed the presidential residence and also set fire to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s home Saturday. Neither Rajapaksa nor Wickremesinghe was at home during the time of the attacks.

“The decision to step down on 13 July was taken to ensure a peaceful handover of power,” Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said. “I therefore request the public to respect the law and maintain peace.”

SRI LANKAN PM RANIL WICKREMESINGHE AGREES TO QUIT AMID BIGGEST POLITICAL TURMOIL

Wickremesinghe announced earlier Saturday that he also planned to resign, but only when all the parties had agreed to a new government. Rajapaksa also shared his hope that this resignation would allow a smooth transition for an all-party government in a statement.

Since the organized protest began on Friday, 39 people, including two officers, have been hospitalized for their injuries.

G3 Box News

Protesters have demanded a change in government as the country, with a population of 22 million, reached inflation levels of more than 54% with no signs of stopping. Sri Lanka already suspended the repayment of its foreign debts in April, of which it has $51 billion. Schools have closed in light of the national gas shortage, with gas stations now guarded by the militia as 15 people have died of heatstroke waiting for gas.

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