Police use tear gas as Sri Lankan protesters storm prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe 's office in Colombo.
There was complete chaos in Sri Lanka as protestors who had gathered outside the Prime Minister’s office took over his residence despite the imposition of curfew.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today declared an emergency and imposed a curfew in the western province of the country as protesters came prepared to face tear gas shelling by security forces deployed outside his residence.
NOW – Anti-government protesters besiege and storm the prime minister's office in Sri Lanka's capital.pic.twitter.com/CePWVWUrPh
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) July 13, 2022
The country's opposition leader Sajith Premadasa said that the PM cannot exercise the powers of the President, and cannot declare a curfew or a state of emergency.
While ousted President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled to the Maldives. appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the interim President of Sri Lanka, but the opposition parties refused to accept the decision.
"PM becomes acting President only if the President appoints him as such, or if the office of President is vacant, or if the CJ in consultation with the Speaker forms the view that the President is unable to act," Premadasa tweeted.
"In the absence of any of these, the PM cannot exercise the powers of President, and cannot declare curfew or a state of emergency," he said in another tweet.
Military personnel used tear gas shells to disperse protestors who scaled the wall to enter the Sri Lankan PM's residence in Colombo.
Pandemonium in #SriLanka
+ Military and police use tear gas to disperse protestors
+Beleaguered President flees to Maldives, PM becomes Interim President
+Protestors throng PM's residence
+State of Emergency DECLARED@WIONews Correspondent @AthaudaDasuni pic.twitter.com/LYBHLKZAy0
— Eric Njoka 🇰🇪 (@eriknjoka) July 13, 2022
Sri Lankan authorities today confirmed that Gotabaya Rajapaksa had flown to the Maldives with his wife and two bodyguards after full approval of the country's Defence Ministry. The Prime Minister's Office confirmed that Gotabaya had landed at the Velana International Airport in Male on a Sri Lankan Air Force plane.
The crisis-hit island country's Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said that he is yet to receive a letter of resignation from Gotabaya. "We haven't received President Gotabaya's resignation yet, but we hope to get one in a day," Abeywardena told ANI.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the presidential palace in Colombo under naval protection on Saturday, shortly before tens of thousands of protesters stormed the compound.
Hours later, the parliamentary speaker announced Rajapaksa would resign on Wednesday to allow a "peaceful transition of power".
Ranil Wickremesinghe has himself announced his willingness to step down if consensus is reached on forming a unity government. He is also facing the wrath of the Sri Lanka masses as his home was burnt down in Colombo.
The main opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) party was in talks with smaller political groups on Monday to secure support for their leader Sajith Premadasa who lost the 2019 presidential election.
Premadasa is the son of former president Ranasinghe Premadasa, who was assassinated in a Tamil suicide bombing in 1993.
Also read: Protests break out in Maldives against Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa who may be heading for Singapore