PM Wikremesinghe appointed Acting president of Sri Lanka

PM Wikremesinghe appointed Acting president of Sri Lanka

Colombo: After Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled to Maldives early Wednesday morning because of mass protests due to the  economic crisis, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was appointed as the acting President of the island state, sources said. Immediately after taking over, Wickremesinghe declared a state of emergency. President Rajapaksa informed this to Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena. The acting president also imposed curfew in the Western province. Protesters have surrounded the prime minister’s office and a tense situation prevailed with police resorting to tear gas and firing in the air. Protesters who have occupied the President's house, his office and the PM's official residence have called the public to gather at Colombo despite the emergency and the curfew.

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He has also ordered the security to arrest people acting riotously and to block vehicles coming to Colombo. The National Television station has stopped transmission. According to reports, Rajapaksa, who left for Maldives, would go to Singapore. Rajapaksa fled Sri Lanka on a military jet reportedly accompanied by his wife, days after people’s uprising against him.

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Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been appointed the acting President and has declared a state of emergency in the country following a standoff between police and military personnel with angry protestors who tried to enter the Prime Minister's office. Thousands have taken to the streets in Sri Lanka in recent weeks, with many blaming the Rajapaksa family and their government for the economic crisis the nation was facing. It is, however, not clear whether the Sri Lankan crisis would end soon.