Sri Lanka PM offers to resign amidst enraged protests

Protestors set PM's house on fire, screen grab.

Sri Lanka’s PM offered to resign yesterday, even though he only took office in May, 2 months ago. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s offer to resign comes after protestors set his home on fire yesterday. Neither the PM nor the president were inside the house when the protestors set the fire.

Meanwhile, over 100,000 enraged protestors also stormed the presidential palace yesterday. A video shows the large crowd even swimming in the president’s swimming pool. Following the chaos, a meeting of party leaders agreed to ask both the president and PM to resign as per an “overwhelming request” according to Sri Lankan lawmaker Rauff Hakeem.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa plans to resign on July 13, while PM Ranil has not yet submitted his resignation letter to the president. The PM did, however, send out a tweet about the news. He said that he would accept the recommendation “to ensure the continuation of the government including the safety of all citizens”. Ranil concluded by saying…

“To facilitate this I will resign as Prime Minister.”

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If both Wickremesinghe and Rajapaksa resign, under the Sri Lankan constitution, the speaker of parliament will serve as acting president for a maximum of 30 days. Meanwhile, parliament will elect a new president within 30 days from one of its members. The new president will hold the office for the remaining 2 years of the current term.

Sri Lanka plunged into chaos in April, after the country experienced a 13 hour power blackout, its longest blackout ever recorded. Since then, the country has been unable to pay for fuel, medicine, and other necessary items.

The country’s medical staff is suffering from a shortage of fuel and medicine. Earlier this month, over 100 medical staff from the national hospital of Colombo marched to the prime minister’s office. The protestors demanded a fresh supply of fuel and medicines.

Time will tell if there is any glimmer of hope for the island nation as it continues to spiral downwards.


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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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