Sri Lanka crisis Highlights| Protesters vacate all govt sites except Prez Secretariat

Updated on Jul 14, 2022 10:52 PM IST

Sri Lanka crisis Highlights: The island nation has tuned into a fortress with armoured vehicles deployed on the streets of Colombo.

Sri Lanka army soldiers stand guard near the parliament building in Colombo on Thursday.
Sri Lanka army soldiers stand guard near the parliament building in Colombo on Thursday.(AFP)

Sri Lanka crisis Highlights: Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa sent his resignation to the parliamentary speaker on Thursday, in what would seem as some relief from the ongoing protests in the country against his government's economic mismanagement, which caused a severe shortage of food, fuel and other essentials.

Rajapaksa's resignation came moments after he arrived in Singapore, with the country's foreign ministry saying, “He has neither sought asylum nor was he granted asylum.”

Anti-government protests in Sri Lanka have been going on for months. Apart from Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the protesters have also demanded Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's resignation. After fleeing from Sri Lanka, Rajapaksa had appointed Wickremesinghe as the acting president.

Follow all the updates here:

  • Jul 14, 2022 10:52 PM IST

    Three frontrunners in race to become next President

    Current Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Leader of the main opposition party Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Sajith Premadasa and Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) leader Dullas Alahapperuma, are the three frontrunners in race to become the next President of Sri Lanka

  • Jul 14, 2022 10:28 PM IST

    Sri Lankans celebrate Gotabaya Rajapaksa's resignation

    Sri Lankans on Thursday were seen celebrating the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, amid the ongoing economic crisis in the country. 

  • Jul 14, 2022 09:34 PM IST

    Parliamentary speaker to make announcement on President's resignation on Friday

    The Sri Lankan parliamentary speaker's office said on Thursday that he received President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's original resignation letter. The office said it will verify the authenticity of the letter, complete all legal processes and make an official announcement about Rajapaksa's resignation on Friday.

  • Jul 14, 2022 09:10 PM IST

    Protesters vacate all govt sites except President's Secretariat

    Protesters in Sri Lanka have vacated all government sites except the President's Secretariat. 

    “Everything (buildings stormed by protesters) is being cleared but President's Secretariat will still be for the people. We want to show we're capable. If we leave here, we can come back the next minute if we want,” one of the protesters told reporters on Thursday, news agency ANI reported. 

  • Jul 14, 2022 08:08 PM IST

    Closely monitoring political, social developments in Sri Lanka: IMF

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Thursday that it is monitoring political and social developments in Sri Lanka, adding it hoped for a resolution that would allow for resumption of dialogue with Sri Lankan authorities. 

  • Jul 14, 2022 07:30 PM IST

    President Gotabaya Rajapaksa emails resignation to parliamentary speaker

    Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday emailed his resignation to parliamentary speaker, news agency Reuters reported. 

  • Jul 14, 2022 07:16 PM IST

    India's ties with Sri Lanka comprehensive, historic: MEA

    The ministry of external affairs said on Thursday that India's ties with Sri Lanka are historic and comprehensive and “we continue to engage with all relevant stakeholders in that country.”

  • Jul 14, 2022 07:07 PM IST

    VIDEO: Saudi airlines plane carrying Rajapaksa arrives in Changi airport

  • Jul 14, 2022 06:38 PM IST

    Rajapaksa to stay in Singapore for sometime, might move to the UAE: Report

    According to Sri Lankan security sources, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is expected to stay in Singapore for some time and might also move to the United Arab Emirates.

  • Jul 14, 2022 06:01 PM IST

    Singapore denies granting asylum to Rajapaksa

    Singapore's foreign office has said Rajapaksa was allowed entry to the country as a private visit. “He has neither sought asylum nor was he granted asylum.”

  • Jul 14, 2022 05:46 PM IST

    Sri Lanka's parliament will not convene on Friday: Speaker's office

    Sri Lanka's parliament will not convene on Friday as announced earlier, the speaker's office said on Thursday, Reuters reported. The next date for the country's parliament to meet will be announced within the next three days if President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's resignation letter is received by the speaker today, the speaker's office said in a statement.

    The speaker had earlier said that parliament would meet on Friday.

  • Jul 14, 2022 05:37 PM IST

    Troops patrol streets as calm returns to Sri Lanka

    Calm returned to Sri Lanka's main city Colombo on Thursday as people awaited the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, although a curfew was imposed and troops patrolled the streets to prevent any outbreak of violence, Reuters reported. Rajapaksa, who fled to the Maldives on Wednesday to escape a popular uprising over his family's role in a crippling economic crisis, has landed in Singapore.

  • Jul 14, 2022 05:19 PM IST

    Plane carrying Sri Lankan president lands in Singapore

    A plane carrying Sri Lanka's president arrived in Singapore from the Maldives Thursday, according to AFP reporters, a day after he escaped to the atoll nation.

    Gotabaya Rajapaksa, his wife Ioma and their two bodyguards were on board the Saudia airline plane, which landed at Singapore's Changi Airport at 7:17 pm local time

  • Jul 14, 2022 05:09 PM IST

    Opposition to propose name for PM tomorrow at 10 am: Report

    Opposition parties will propose name for a prime minister at 10 am on Friday, local media Newswire reported.

  • Jul 14, 2022 04:57 PM IST

    Ex-army chief says ready to take presidency if majority of MPs elect him

    Sri Lanka’s former Army chief and Member of Parliament Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka today said that he is ready to take Presidency if majority MPs elect him. He said a group from Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) was also backing him, according to local media report.

  • Jul 14, 2022 04:51 PM IST

    Mahinda Rajapaksa, Basil won't leave Sri Lanka until SC hears petition, their lawyers say

    Sri Lanka's former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and ex-finance minister Basil Rajapaksa on Thursday gave an undertaking to the Supreme Court through their lawyers that they will not leave the crisis-hit country until the Fundamental Rights petition filed against them is heard on Friday, PTI reported.

  • Jul 14, 2022 04:34 PM IST

    ‘Urge other G-20 members to put pressure on China…’: US on eSri Lankan economic crisis

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she would urge other members of the Group of 20 major economies to put pressure on China to be more cooperative in long-stalled efforts to restructure the debts of countries in debt distress, including Sri Lanka, Reuters reported.

  • Jul 14, 2022 04:25 PM IST

    “Gotabaya resigning is one problem solved…', says protester

    “Gotabaya resigning is one problem solved — but there are so many more,” said Bhasura Wickremesinghe, a 24-year-old student of maritime electrical engineering, who is not related to the prime minister. He complained that Sri Lankan politics have been dominated for years by “old politicians” who all need to go. “Politics needs to be treated like a job — you need to have qualifications that get you hired, not because of what your last name is,” he said, referring to the Rajapaksa family.

  • Jul 14, 2022 04:05 PM IST

    Protests threaten to worsen Sri Lanka's economic condition

    The political impasse threatens to worsen the bankrupt nation’s economic collapse since the absence of an alternative government could delay a hoped-for bailout from the International Monetary Fund. In the meantime, the country is relying on aid from India and China, AP reported.

  • Jul 14, 2022 03:49 PM IST

    China a very important creditor of Sri Lanka, says US

    China is a "very important" creditor of Sri Lanka and it would likely be in the interest of both countries if China participated in restructuring Sri Lanka's debt, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Thursday.

  • Jul 14, 2022 03:34 PM IST

    Yet to receive Rajapaksa's resignation, says Speaker

    Amid the deteriorating political situation in the country, Sri Lanka's Parliament Speaker Yapa Abeywardena on Thursday said that he is yet to receive the resignation letter from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, ANI. "The Speaker of Sri Lanka's Parliament is yet to receive the Letter of Resignation from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa," said the Sri Lankan Speaker's office.

  • Jul 14, 2022 03:15 PM IST

    Rajapaksa jeered at Male airport on Wednesday, says local media

    According to Maldivian media, Rajapaksa was jeered and insults thrown at him at Male airport on Wednesday, while another group staged a demonstration in the capital urging Maldivian authorities not to allow him safe passage, AFP reported.

  • Jul 14, 2022 02:57 PM IST

    Lankan soldiers authorised to use necessary force to prevent destruction of property and life, says army: Report

    Sri Lankan soldiers have been authorised to use necessary force to prevent destruction of property and life, Reuters quotes the Lankan Army statement

  • Jul 14, 2022 02:43 PM IST

    Confusion about Rajapaksa's whereabouts rages on

    Confusion persisted about Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s whereabouts, with the Associated Press reporting Thursday he was headed to Saudi Arabia and Reuters saying he would stay in Singapore

  • Jul 14, 2022 02:20 PM IST

    Authorities reimpose curfew in Western Province

    Sri Lankan authorities on Thursday reimposed a curfew in the Western Province amid fears of violence erupting in the crisis-hit country. The curfew was first imposed on Wednesday and was lifted on Thursday morning. 

  • Jul 14, 2022 02:01 PM IST

    Plane said to carry Rajapaksa most-tracked in world

    A Saudi Arabian Airlines flight from Maldives to Singapore believed to be carrying Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the world’s most-tracked flight on Thursday, underscoring massive global interest in the troubled island nation’s political affairs, Bloomberg reported. Saudia flight 788 from Male was being tracked by almost 5,000 users as of 7:43 a.m. GMT, according to data from Flightradar24.com, more than three times the number of people tracking a French Air Force plane flying in Europe. 

  • Jul 14, 2022 01:40 PM IST

    Tanks deployed on roads in Colombo: Video

    The Sri Lankan military has deployed tanks on the streets of Colombo to quell the protests, even as president Gotabaya Rajapaksa left Maldives for Singapore before heading to Jeddah.

  • Jul 14, 2022 01:37 PM IST

    Rajapaksa family siphoned money from govt coffers, allege protesters

    The protesters accuse the president and his powerful political family of siphoning money from government coffers for years and Rajapaksa’s administration of hastening the country’s collapse by mismanaging the economy. The family has denied the corruption allegations, but Rajapaksa acknowledged some of his policies contributed to the meltdown.

  • Jul 14, 2022 01:21 PM IST

    Ex-PM Mahinda Rajapaksa still in Sri Lanka: Report

    Government sources and aides said the president's brothers, former president and prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and former finance minister Basil Rajapaksa, were still in Sri Lanka.

  • Jul 14, 2022 12:59 PM IST

    ‘The fight is not over…’, says Lankan protester

    "The fight is not over," said Terance Rodrigo, a 26-year-old student who said he has been inside the compound since it was taken over by protesters on Saturday along with the prime minister's official residence."We have to make society better than this. The government is not solving people's problems," Reuters quoted him.

  • Jul 14, 2022 12:35 PM IST

    Sri Lanka's embattled leader leaves Maldives on Saudi plane

    Sri Lanka's embattled leader leaves Maldives on Saudi planSri Lanka’s embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has left Maldives after fleeing his own country amid an economic collapse, AP reported. He boarded a Saudi Airlines plane on Wednesday that will take him to Singapore and then to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, a Maldives government officials said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

  • Jul 14, 2022 12:27 PM IST

    Rajapaksa taking Saudi plane to Singapore and then heading to Saudi: Maldives officials

    Maldives officials say Sri Lanka's President Rajapaksa is taking Saudi Airlines plane to Singapore and then Saudi Arabia, AP reported.

  • Jul 14, 2022 12:17 PM IST

    Sri Lanka troops barricade Parliament against protesters

    Military troops were moving Thursday to secure Sri Lanka’s parliament building against a takeover by protesters infuriated by the country’s economic collapse and the embattled president’s failure to resign a day after fleeing the country, Reuters reported. With the country sinking into political chaos, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his wife fled to the Maldives on Wednesday aboard an air force jet. He made the prime minister acting president in his absence — a move that further roiled passions among a public that blames Rajapaksa for an economic crisis that has caused severe shortages of food and fuel.

  • Jul 14, 2022 12:05 PM IST

    Sri Lanka imposes curfew till 5 am on Friday: Report

    Sri Lanka imposes curfew till 5 am on Friday, reports Reuters

  • Jul 14, 2022 11:59 AM IST

    Sri Lanka protesters say they will leave official buildings

    Day after Sri Lanka PM seeks army help in quelling stir, protesters say will leave official buildings, reports AFP

  • Jul 14, 2022 11:49 AM IST

    Sri Lanka protest sites calm as president's resignation awaited

    The area around parliament was deserted on Thursday morning. Police manned a barricade on the approach road. Nearby, life returned to normal, with shops open and plenty of cars on the road, Reuters reported.

  • Jul 14, 2022 11:37 AM IST

    Rajapaksa should submit resignation or will consider other options to remove him, says Speaker

    Sri Lankan Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena on Thursday informed Gotabaya Rajapaksa that he should submit his letter of resignation as the President as soon as possible or else he will consider other options to remove him from the office, PTI reported.

  • Jul 14, 2022 11:29 AM IST

    Buddhist monk supporting protests calls for presidential palace to be handed back to authorities

    A top Buddhist monk supporting the campaign called for the more than 200-years-old presidential palace to be handed back to authorities and ensure its valuable art and artefacts were preserved, AFP reported. "This building is a national treasure and it should be protected," monk Omalpe Sobitha told reporters. "There must be a proper audit and the property given back to the state."

  • Jul 14, 2022 11:22 AM IST

    Private jet arrives in Maldives to take Gotabaya Rajapaksa to Singapore: Report

    Private jet arrives in Maldives to transport Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to Singapore, ANI quotes Sri Lanka's DailyMirror

  • Jul 14, 2022 11:18 AM IST

    Protesters continue to camp at prime minister's office in Colombo

    Protesters are still camping in the premises of prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's office the day after they breached it. 

  • Jul 14, 2022 11:12 AM IST

    Sri Lankan military guards the prime minister's chair | Video

    Sri Lankan military personnel are guarding the prime minister's chair in his office in Colombo, day after it was stormed by protesters who hoisted the national flag on the roof. 

  • Jul 14, 2022 11:05 AM IST

    Gotabaya Rajapaksa 'whereabouts unknown', says report

    Gotabaya Rajapaksa missed a deadline - Wednesday - announced by the speaker of Sri Lanka's parliament to submit his resignation after he fled to the Maldives. Reports indicate Rajapaksa is leaving the Maldives for another country, possibly Singapore but, according to Bloomberg, his current whereabouts remain unknown. He hasn’t been in touch with the speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, since supposedly speaking to him via the telephone yesterday.

  • Jul 14, 2022 11:03 AM IST

    Protesters in talks to hand back govt buildings they seized: Report

    Sri Lanka's anti-government demonstrators were in talks Thursday to hand back official buildings they seized, protest representatives said, even as they insisted the president and prime minister both quit in the face of an economic crisis, AFP reported. Protesters overran President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's palace at the weekend, forcing him to flee to the Maldives on Wednesday, when activists also stormed the office of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

  • Jul 14, 2022 10:55 AM IST

    Sri Lankan parliament's special meet hangs in balance

    The legislature’s proposed July 15 special meeting, meant to start the process of electing a new president, now hangs in balance because Rajapaksa didn’t resign Wednesday. Even if the president did send in his resignation Thursday, it’s uncertain whether the required paperwork can be done in time for parliament to meet Friday, Bloomberg quoted Janakantha Silva, the legislature’s director of communication.

  • Jul 14, 2022 10:43 AM IST

    1 killed, 84 injured in clashes on Wednesday: Lankan Police

    Police said one person was killed and 84 injured in clashes between riot police and protesters on Wednesday near the parliament building and the prime minister's office, as people demanded the ouster of both Rajapaksa and Wickremesinghe.

  • Jul 14, 2022 10:34 AM IST

    Lankan chief of defence staff urges people to cooperate with forces

    Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Shavendra Silva called for calm and for cooperation with security forces. Similar comments have rankled opposition lawmakers, who insisted that civilian leaders would be the ones to find a solution, AP reported.

  • Jul 14, 2022 10:31 AM IST

    ‘We want Ranil to go home...’ demand angry protesters

    "We want Ranil to go home," Malik Perera, a 29-year-old rickshaw driver who said he took part in the protests, said on Thursday. "They have sold the country, we want a good person to take over, until then we won't stop."

  • Jul 14, 2022 10:22 AM IST

    Ranil wants military to use force, Sri Lankan Army says no firing on protestors

    The Sri Lankan Army has declined instructions of acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe to use force against the protestors after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled to Male to escape public wrath over present economic crisis in the Island nation. Full report

  • Jul 14, 2022 10:10 AM IST

    Sri Lanka's Central bank warns public on possible risks in crypto trade

    The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has put out a warning of the possible exposure to significant financial, operational, legal, and security-related risks posed by investments in virtual currencies, essentially cryptocurrencies, while asking them not to fall prey to such types of virtual schemes offered through the Internet, ANI reported.

  • Jul 14, 2022 10:00 AM IST

    Root causes of conflict and protesters' grievances must be answered, says UN chief

    United Nations chief Antonio Gutteres tweets on the Sri Lankan political crisis. “I continue to follow the situation in Sri Lanka very closely. It is important that the root causes of the conflict and protestors’ grievances are addressed. I urge all party leaders to embrace the spirit of compromise for a peaceful and democratic transition,” he tweeted.

  • Jul 14, 2022 09:46 AM IST

    Sri Lankan govt lifts curfew

    Sri Lankan authorities on Thursday lifted the curfew, which was imposed in the Western province after the eruption of violence in the capital here, even as President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who has fled to the Maldives, was yet to submit his resignation letter, PTI reported.

  • Jul 14, 2022 09:38 AM IST

    Sri Lankan speaker says yet to receive Rajapaksa's resignation letter: Report

    Sri Lankan speaker's office says yet to receive resignation letter from president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, ANI reported.

  • Jul 14, 2022 09:26 AM IST

    What explains Sri Lanka's worst economic crisis?

    What exactly went wrong in Sri Lanka? The economic crisis which had hit the island nation turned political with the protesters gunning for Rajapaksa family's ouster from power. Read more

  • Jul 14, 2022 09:23 AM IST

    Sri Lanka crisis: How the mighty Rajapaksa family lost power, grace

    Known as The Terminator to family and foes alike for his ruthless crushing of Tamil rebels to end a decades-long civil war, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s rule is drawing to a close with him a fugitive and his island’s economy in ruins. Read more

  • Jul 14, 2022 09:16 AM IST

    Gotabaya Rajapaksa still in Maldives, awaits private jet to depart for Singapore: Report

    Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who has fled to the Maldives, could not board a scheduled Singapore Airlines flight from Male to Singapore due to security concerns and is now waiting to travel on a private aircraft, PTI reported.

  • Jul 14, 2022 09:15 AM IST

    Zelensky blames Russia for Sri Lanka crisis: ‘No one knows now how it'll end'

    Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday held Russia's “special military operation” in his country accountable for the economic crisis in Sri Lanka. Accusing Russia of exacerbating a global food crisis and fueling inflation, he said, “One of the major tactics Russia has used in their invasion of Ukraine is the creation of an economic shock." Read more

  • Jul 14, 2022 09:09 AM IST

    Peaceful transfer of power within Sri Lanka is essential, says US

    US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Julie Chung has urged for the peaceful transfer of power within the country's constitutional framework and said that the US condemns all violence and calls for the rule of law to be upheld in the crisis-hit island nation, ANI reported.

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