Sri Lanka Declares Emergency As Protesters Express Anger At Prospect Of Ranil Becoming Acting Prez

Sri Lanka declared a state of emergency as angry protesters took over the streets of Colombo once again on Wednesday after news reports confirmed outgoing president Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled to Maldives in a military aircraft.

The emergency was declared by Ranil Wickremesinghe as he took over the role of acting PM. A curfew was imposed on Wednesday with immediate effect in Sri Lanka’s western province immediately after Ranil took control. The emergency is is in effect throughout the island.

Sri Lankan news agency LankaExpress also revealed that Ranil Wickremesinghe ordered forces to arrest people acting in a riotous manner and to stop vehicles on which they are traveling.

The Sri Lankan army moved troops to contain protests. Demonstrations are being held outside the office of the prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Colombo’s Flower Road.

The protesters are demanding that both of them leave as they do not want Ranil to become president. Security personnel lobbed tear gas shells at them to quell the protests.

Ranil was appointed prime minister by Gotabaya Rajapaksa earlier this year after his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped down due to demands from protesters who blame the Rajapaksa clan for leading them into a financial crisis that will take years to mitigate.

The protesters claim that as per the Sri Lankan constitution, if the president quits then the prime minister is elevated to the role of acting president. However, the prospect of Wickremesinghe, a close confidant of the Rajapaksas being elevated to the role has left Sri Lankans angered.

Four protesters sustained injuries as tear gas shells in a clash at the GotaGoGama protest site at Galle Face Green. They have been hospitalized with cut injuries.

Maldives’ president Solih and former president Nasheed both were lambasted by Sri Lankan and Maldivians on Twitter for allowing the Rajapaksas to seek refuge in Male.

Several Maldivians and Sri Lankan expats took to Twitter demanding that the Rajapaksas be sent back to Sri Lanka to answer to the people.

Meanwhile, the United States embassy in Sri Lanka said it suspended consular services on Wednesday and Thursday.

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