Sri Lanka: Protesters besiege the president’s residence and demand his resignation

Protesters in Sri Lanka have continued to occupy the president’s official residence in Colombo for the third day in a row saying they will not leave until he and the prime minister resign. The protest saw aggrieved Sri Lankans storm the country’s capital, Colombo, on Saturday; burn down the prime minister’s residence and occupy the president’s residence. Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa told Mahinda Abeywardana, the speaker of parliament, on Saturday that he would step down as president on Wednesday this week as a result of the protests. The country of 22 million people has been suffering from a dire financial crisis with severe shortages of fuel, medicine, food and other essentials amid record inflation and a devaluation of the country’s currency. A severe lack of foreign exchange has stalled imports. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said he will step down once a new government is in place. Wickremesinghe’s office said this morning that the president reconfirmed his resignation on Wednesday to the prime minister. According to Al Jazeera, party leaders have been in talks to form an alternative government, an urgent requirement to continue talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a rescue program. Many feared that the outcome of Saturday’s protest could affect the ongoing discussion with the IMF. Wickremesinghe held a discussion with cabinet ministers on Monday morning, the prime minister’s office said in a statement. “All the ministers who participated in the discussion were of the opinion that as soon as there is an agreement to form an all-party government, they are ready to hand over their responsibilities to that government,” Al Jazeera quoted the prime minister’s office as saying. Sri Lanka is on the brink of bankruptcy and has defaulted on its foreign loans with almost empty foreign reserves. It announced in April that it would suspend the payment of foreign loans due to the shortage of foreign currency. Its total external debt amounts to $51 billion, of which it must pay $28 billion by the end of 2027. According to Al Jazeera, headline inflation in Sri Lanka hit 54.6 percent last month, with the central bank warning it could rise to 70 percent in coming months as the country relies on aid from India and other countries. nations. Chiamaka Okafor is a reporter for Premium Times in collaboration with report to the worldthat unites local newsrooms with talented emerging journalists to report on hidden topics around the world. Read More Related News Here Let here it in the comment below if you do have an opinion on this; Sri Lanka: Protesters besiege the president’s residence and demand his resignation