Middle East

Rajapaxa resigns after being chased from home

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa announced his resignation yesterday hours after a crowd of angry protesters chased him out of his residence as months of frustration caused by an unprecedented economic crisis boiled. ..
Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in the capital, Colombo, have demanded that the government be responsible for mismanagement of the country’s finances and the elimination of food and fuel shortages.
After attacking the gates of the presidential residence, a large number of protesters passed through the room, and some of the noisy crowds jumped into the pool on the premises.
Others were seen laughing and relaxing in the stately bedrooms of the mansion, one withdrawing what he claimed to be Rajapaksa’s underwear.
Almost at the same time, the leader boarded a Navy ship at the port of Colombo and was taken to the waters south of the island, where he was finally informed that he was bowing to a call for months to resign.
“To ensure a peaceful transition, the president said he would resign on 13 July,” Parliamentary Speaker Mahinda Abeywardana said in a television statement.
Rajapaksa had to be pulled out of his dwelling by an army that fired in the air to keep the crowd away.
Immediately after they attacked the presidential residence, a seaside office near Rajapaksa also fell into the hands of protesters.
Prime Minister’s Office
set fire
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the successor to Rajapaksa, called for talks with political leaders and said he was ready to resign to pave the way for a unified government.
However, it was unable to appease the protesters who attacked the Prime Minister’s private residence and set it on fire after dawn.
Video shared on social media showed a crowd cheering for the flames that broke out shortly after the guards guarding Wickremesinghe attacked several journalists outside the house.
So far, no casualties have been reported from the fire, and police said Wickremesinghe and his family were absent at the time.
Security forces attempted to disperse a large crowd that struck Colombo’s administrative areas earlier that day, injuring dozens of people in the resulting clashes.
A spokesman for a major hospital in Colombo said three were being treated for gunshot wounds and 36 were suffering from dyspnea after being caught in a barrage of tear gas.
Sri Lanka suffers months of shortages of basic commodities, long-term power outages and a surge in inflation after a shortage of foreign currency to import essentials.
The government has defaulted on $ 51 billion in external debt and is seeking bailouts from the International Monetary Fund.
Thousands of people poured into the capital for a Saturday demonstration. And the recent outbreak of anxiety caused by the crisis.
Police withdrew the curfew issued on Friday after opposition parties, rights activists and bar associations threatened to sue the police chief. Thousands of rebels ignored the stay-at-home order and even forced railroad authorities to drive trains to take them to Colombo for yesterday’s rally, officials said.
“The curfew wasn’t a deterrent. In fact, it encouraged more people to rebel and get out on the street,” defense officials said.
Sri Lanka has almost exhausted its already scarce supply of gasoline, and people unable to travel to the capital have protested in other cities across the island.
The demonstrators had already maintained months of protest camps outside Rajapaksa’s office demanding his resignation. The camp was the scene of a May clash in which a gang of Rajapaksa supporters attacked peaceful protesters gathered there.
Nine people were killed and hundreds were injured after violence triggered retaliation against the pro-government mob and arson attacks on parliamentarians’ homes.
Anxiety has come to the end of an ongoing Sri Lankan cricket tour in Australia, and the Pakistani team is also on the island for the next series.
Cricket officials said there were no plans to change the schedule, adding that the sport was unaffected by political turmoil.
“Australia’s testing is nearing the end and we plan to start the Pakistan series,” cricketboard said. The official said.

http://www.gulf-times.com/story/720775/Rajapaksa-to-resign-after-being-chased-from-home Rajapaxa resigns after being chased from home

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