Sri Lanka is Imploding | PM Agrees to Resign
SRI LANKA - Ranil Wickremesignhe, Sri Lanka Prime Minister has agreed to step down and resign once a new government is formed, after official party leaders in the Sri Lankan Government laid out demands that he and the president resign, following a protesting mob of enraged Sri Lankan citizens storming the president's office and official residence.
On Saturday, following Sri Lanka's biggest protest of 10,000+ protestors, He made his statement. Protestors broke through the barricades and made their way into the presidential office and residence to express their extreme disapproval of the one they believe is responsible for the country's worst economic crisis ever.
Police lifted a curfew overnight, spawning one of the worst protests in Sri Lankan history. With fuel supplies scarce, protests made their way onto buses and crowded trains, some even riding bicycles and walking, to go to the city to express their discontent with the government.
As they came into the presidential residence, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa could not be found. Later on, a government spokesman stated that the whereabouts of the president were unknown at this time.
The political party leaders met, following the breach, to discuss how to move forward, which is where the conclusion was made to demand the resignation of the president and prime minister. Also, a decision was made to have the parliamentary speaker take over as president and create an interim government to mitigate the crisis in Sri Lanka.
The economy in Sri Lanka is officially in a state of collapse. Mid-June, the country leaders had been pleading with other international leaders to support their country and provide whatever they could in various forms of bailouts, including requesting a bailout from the IMF. For the better part of 2022, Sri Lanka has been going through food, electricity, and fuel shortages. Residents of Sri Lanka reported waiting at gas stations for over 24 hours just for a few gallons of fuel.
The country carries an extremely massive debt with its losses in tourism, deriving from the pandemic as well as inflation which has impacted the country at a staggering rate. The state of the country has led to months of protests which have dismantled the 20-year reign of the resigning president. The masses blame the economic fall of Sri Lanka on mismanagement and allegations of corruption by the president's government.
In May, the president's brother who was the prime minister, resigned, which paved the way for Wichremesignhe to take his place. Now just 2 months later, he has also agreed to step down. The president's brother, the former prime minister, had to seek safety at a naval base amid Rajapaksa relatives quitting their cabinet posts.
On social media, videos have been posted which show protestors tearing down barricades and entering the residence, all while chanting "Gota go home." Many protestors were seen in the video jumping in the pool and pillaging the residence. A black flag was hoisted above the residence on a pole, signaling the regime had been conquered. Security personnel attempted to stop the protestors but were soon over-ran. A total of 34 individuals were injured including 2 officers. 2 people remain in critical condition while the others were termed as minor.
The leaders of the protest not only demanded the resignation of the president and prime minister but called for a complete change of all positions within the government, including country ambassadors.
The current debt of Sri Lanka equals $51 billion in foreign debt, $28 billion which must be paid back by the end of 2027.