Sri Lanka: Protestors storm Prime Minister's office after police stand-off

Wickremesinghe is now acting President of the country

By Qadijah Irshad

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Wed 13 Jul 2022, 1:32 PM

Last updated: Wed 13 Jul 2022, 1:47 PM

The Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s office was stormed by thousands of protestors defying a curfew, as a state of emergency was declared by Ranil Wickremesinghe, the acting president who was hours ago the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

Ramesh Kalutuwakku, a 24-year-old university student talking to Khaleej Times from inside the building, said there are thousands of jubilant protesters dancing, waving the Sri Lankan flag and celebrating the takeover, and demanding that Wickremesinghe quit immediately. “Someone is playing the piano and we are all singing. This is yet another victory for the Aragalaya,” he said, referring to the movement that has fuelled Sri Lankans to drive out mass corruption.

Sri Lankans have been demanding the resignation of the entire Rajapaksa family as well as Wickremesinghe, whom they believe protects the Rajapaksas.

Police used tear gas on the crowds that pushed past the barriers to enter the colonial era mansion, once the nation’s most protected building situated in central Colombo.

In the recent past protesters have taken over other government buildings including the presidential palace, the presidential secretariat, and the national broadcasting corporation earlier today.

More than 4,000 protestors are currently converging outside the country’s Parliament building, in a bid to enter and take over.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday fled the country to Maldives, after handing his letter of resignation as president.


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