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Sri Lankan Prime Minister Declares a State of Emergency as President Flees to the Maldives

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Declares a State of Emergency as President Flees to the Maldives

The Sri Lankan Prime Minister has declared a state of emergency across the country and has already imposed a curfew in the western province according to one of his spokespersons. This is coming after police used tear gas to disperse a group of protesters near the Prime Minister’s office at Flower Road. 

The protesters were chanting songs and making speeches. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had announced that he would be stepping down after an all-party interim government that was set up after Mr. Rajapaksa left. However, a lot of Sri Lankans want the president to leave office immediately.

This is because once Mr. Rajapaksa leaves office, under the Sri Lanka constitution, Mr. Wickremesinghe will automatically become the acting president for 30 days. Meanwhile, reports have said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has fled Sri Lanka on a military jet, as mass protests occur all over the country amidst economic crises. 

The Sri Lankan air force has confirmed that the 73-year-old president had flown to the Maldives with his wife and two security officials.

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Mr. Rajapaksa’s departure ended the family dynasty which had ruled Sri Lanka for decades. The president had been in hiding after crowds of protesters stormed his residence on Saturday, thereafter he pledged his resignation on Wednesday 13 July.

One source has said that Mr. Rajapaksa will be remaining in the Maldives and that he has plans to travel to a third-world country.  The President’s brother, former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, had also fled Sri Lanka and reports say that he would be heading to the US.

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