Gotabaya Rajapaksa Maldives exit deepens Sri Lanka stir, Ranil faces ire| Top 10

By | Edited by Swati Bhasin, New Delhi
Jul 14, 2022 06:53 AM IST

Sri Lanka crisis: Situation is going from bad to worse in the crisis-hit island nation of 22 million.  The country reportedly owes over $50 billion in debt, and is facing its worst-ever crisis. 

Sri Lanka president Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s exit from Sri Lanka to Maldives has further deepened tensions in the crisis-hit country, where political instability has intensified the worst-ever economic challenge in seven decades. On Wednesday, even as Ranil Wickremesinghe took over as acting president, he faced protesters’ anger amid chants of ‘Go Ranil, Go!”, reports said. While a state of emergency was declared, Wickremesinghe told the military to do what was necessary.

Sri Lanka: Police use tear gas to disperse the protesters who stormed the compound of prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe 's office. (AP)
Sri Lanka: Police use tear gas to disperse the protesters who stormed the compound of prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe 's office. (AP)

Here are ten points on the Sri Lanka crisis:

1. Gotabaya Rajapaksa missed Wednesday’s deadline to step down from the president’s post, and instead went overseas. This triggered demonstrations yet again as thousands took to streets. Gotabaya, his wife and two bodyguards were the four passengers aboard a military aircraft, news agency AFP reported, citing military sources.

2. Gotabaya Rajapaksa is set to go to Singapore next. He and his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had quit as PM in May, are blamed for the country’s current economic misery.

3. Days after breaching Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s palace and setting Ranil Wickremesinghe’s private home ablaze, demonstrators on Wednesday stormed into the prime minister’s office in scenes of chaos.

4. In measures that followed, Wickremesinghe - who had also said last week that he would step down - on Wednesday declared a state of emergency Wickremesinghe said he had formed a committee including the police and military chiefs to de-escalate the situation.

5. The country will get a new president on July 20. Speaker of the Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena confirmed that Wickremesinghe was acting president. Agitators were also unhappy, according to reports, over Wickremesinghe taking over as acting president.

6. A curfew and a state of emergency reportedly failed to deter the stir.

7. As tensions ran high. the national broadcaster also went off air after it was seized by agitators, according to a Bloomberg report.

8. The US embassy cancelled the consular services for Wednesday and Thursday in Sri Lanka.

9. "Out of an abundance of caution, Consular is canceling our Wednesday afternoon services (American citizen services and NIV passback) as well as all consular services on Thursday. We apologize for any inconvenience and will reschedule all cancelled appointments," a tweet read.

10. Sri Lanka’s tensions keep going from bad to worse. The country has over $50 billion in debt.

(With inputs from Reuters, AFP, Bloomberg)

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