Sri Lanka Crisis: PM’s house burnt, violence everywhere, President Gotabaya ready to quit, will resign on 13

Colombo: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has announced his resignation after a month-long mass agitation. Gotabaya Rajapaksa told the speaker on Saturday that he would resign from the presidency on July 13. Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abhaywardene announced that President Rajapaksa had informed him of his decision to resign. On receiving this news, people burst crackers. Earlier on Saturday morning, after a massive public march to Colombo and the forced capture of Rashtrapati Bhavan, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe asked the speaker to summon leaders of all political parties and decide on how to resolve the crisis. Most of the party leaders decided to remove the president and prime minister and appoint a provisional president and all-party government for a specific period.

In fact, party leaders called for the immediate resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, to clear the way for Abhaywardene to become the caretaker president until Parliament’s successor is appointed. Rajapaksa replied to Abhaywardene’s letter, saying he would step down on July 13. Rajapaksa’s whereabouts are not known after he left his residence on Friday ahead of Saturday’s protests.

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During the demonstration, thousands of anti-government protesters stormed Rajapaksa’s official residence in Colombo. Rajapaksa had been facing pressure to resign since March. He was using the Rashtrapati Bhavan as his residence and office as protesters marched to occupy the entrance of his office in early April.

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Since early April, protesters have been alleging that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda were leading the country to economic ruin. They also staged long protests demanding the resignation of the Rajapaksa brothers throughout the country, including the capital Colombo, but these two brothers in power tried to quell the demonstrations at gunpoint. Not only this, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa did the work of suppressing the voice of the people by declaring emergency in the country. This intensified the violence and reached its peak this week. For this reason, the protesters resorted to violence and the leaders of the ruling party were also attacked all over the country.

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Mahinda was once compared to Sinhala Buddhist kings
Mahinda Rajapaksa is considered the leader of the majority Sinhalese population of the country. He is seen as a war hero for ending nearly three decades of civil war in Sri Lanka. He was the one who crushed the Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009 during his first term as President. Although he was also accused of committing genocide, Mahinda, who was in power, denied this and continued the military campaign in northern Sri Lanka. He was compared to Sinhala Buddhist kings at victory parades and public events soon after this victory.

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The government of Gotabaya Rajapaksa took a lot of loans from China for development works, but that money was wasted. The situation became such that when the loan could not be repaid, China occupied the port of Hambantota. Today, the economic condition of Sri Lanka has become so bad that diesel-petrol and many items of daily necessities are not being able to do so. There is no electricity for 13 hours in the country. When people started taking to the streets, the Rajapaksa government declared a state of emergency. Still, seeing the public anger did not stop, the government dissolved the cabinet in which there were many members of the Rajapaksa family.

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