Sri Lanka speaker accepts G Rajapaksa's resignation; announces new President in 7 days | 10 developments
The President of Sri Lanka had fled to Singapore to avoid anti-government riots sparked by the country's severe economic crisis.
Sri Lanka will have a new President within seven days, the parliamentary speaker stated on Friday, who also announced President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's resignation had been accepted after he fled the country earlier this week.
1) After Rajapaksa informed the speaker from Singapore that he was stepping down, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana told reporters that "Gotabaya had legally resigned" from Thursday. The parliament is currently hosting an all-party meeting.
2) The President of Sri Lanka had fled to Singapore to avoid anti-government riots sparked by the severe economic crisis in his country, and Sri Lankans had been waiting for an official declaration to confirm his resignation.
3) After fleeing to the Maldives after protesters overran his palace over the weekend, Gotabaya Rajapaksa arrived in Singapore late on Thursday and presented his resignation.
4) After months of protests over what his detractors claimed was his poor handling of the island nation's economy, which caused great suffering for its 22 million inhabitants, Rajapaksa left office.
5) Since Sri Lanka adopted a presidential style of government in 1978, he has been the only President to resign.
6) According to Singapore's foreign ministry, Rajapaksa arrived on a private visit and did not apply for or receive asylum there.
7) More protests erupted on Wednesday after Rajapaksa appointed his ally Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as acting President, with demonstrators storming parliament and the premier's office demanding his resignation.
8) To prevent further unrest, the government imposed a curfew in Colombo from noon on Thursday to early morning on Friday. According to local media, armoured vehicles with soldiers atop patrolled the city's streets.
9) Protests against the economic crisis have been brewing for months, and they reached a boiling point last weekend when hundreds of thousands of people took over government buildings in Colombo, blaming the Rajapaksa family and allies for rampant inflation, shortages of basic goods, and corruption.
10) Sri Lanka had begun preliminary talks with the International Monetary Fund about a possible bailout loan, but the latest government turmoil has halted these.