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Sri Lanka’s President Rajapaksa will step down following the palace invasion

Sri Lanka’s President Rajapaksa will step down following the palace invasion

After demonstrators broke into his official mansion and set fire to the prime minister’s home, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said he would resign. The president and prime minister were not present in both buildings. After months of demonstrations over Mr. Rajapaksa’s economic incompetence, hundreds of thousands flocked to the capital city of Colombo to demand his resignation. 

On July 13, Mr. Rajapaksa will leave office. Prime minister Wickremesinghe has also consented to resign. Mahinda Abeywardana, the speaker of the house, stated that the president decided to step down “to ensure a peaceful handover of power”As a result, he pleaded with the populace to uphold the law and keep the peace. Only a few hours before, demonstrators had broken in and set fire to Ranil Wickremesinghe’s house. Social media videos show flames illuminating the night sky. The Crowd of protesters had also occupied Mr. Rajapaksa’s official mansion, relaxing in its staterooms and swimming in his pool. 

The reason for the protest is due to inflation in the nation which has gone out of control, and also the difficulty to import food, gasoline, and medical supplies. Large numbers of demonstrators arrived in the capital from all around the nation; according to officials, some even “commandeered” trains to get there. In advance of the anticipated protests, Mr. Rajapaksa left his official residence on Friday, according to two sources in the defense ministry and the whereabouts of the president have not been verified. A source however claimed that he was in a “secure place.” On Saturday morning, demonstrators moved near the president’s home and then scaled barriers. Hundreds of demonstrators entered the home while yelling slogans and waving the flag. 

Social media users soon posted videos of people wandering into the residence and swimming in the pool. Unknown individuals were spotted clearing out a chest of drawers. Even though it is Mr. Rajapaksa’s official residence, he typically resides in a different property close by. At the prime minister’s home, similar events could be seen. Later, it was revealed by his office that he had consented to step down to make room for an all-party administration. To protect the people, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe stated that he was prepared to resign. 

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However, immediately after he made his declaration, videos of his house on fire began to go viral. The prime minister resides with his family in Fifth Lane, a private residence. He only conducts official business out of his residence in a place called Temple Trees.

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