Protesters decide to give back president’s house, other buildings

Gotabaya yet to announce his resignation
Protesters decide to give back president’s house, other buildings

Colombo: The anti-government protesters in Sri Lanka have decided to give back the President’s house and other public buildings they have been occupying for more than three months, sources said on Thursday.

The protesters, who had occupied the entrance to the President’s office and the Galle Face Green, took over the President's house, President’s office and Prime Minister’s official residence Temple Trees on July 9.

They also laid siege to the Prime Minister’s office, though there was a standoff between them and the police. A curfew was imposed in Colombo from 12 noon on Thursday to 5am on Friday. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled the crisis-hit country in the early hours of Wednesday, is yet to announce his resignation. This has led to a constitutional deadlock as the new President cannot be appointed without the resignation of incumbent President. Media reports stated that he departed from the Maldives for Singapore from where he is expected to announce his resignation.

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Meanwhile, one person died and 84 others sustained injuries in anti-government protests in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo. The 26-year-old man died from breathing difficulties after police lobbed teargas at protesters to disperse them, BBC reported. The injured included protesters who were outside the prime minister’s office as well as those who were outside Parliament later in the evening on Wednesday. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had appointed Prime Minister Wickremesinghe as acting President of the country, triggering further protests. The island nation has been witnessing months of protests over food and fuel shortage. Inflation in the crisis-hit country is more than 50%. However, the situation is so uncertain that nobody could say anything about when the crisis would end.