Sri Lanka's president to resign on July 13; PM's house attacked: Top facts
Sri Lanka economic crisis: Tens of thousands of people broke through barricades and entered President Rajapaksa’s residence and nearby office to vent their anger against a leader they hold responsible for the nation’s worst crisis.
The Sri Lanka Parliament speaker said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has agreed to resign on Wednesday even as protesters have broken into Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's private residence and set it on fire. It came hours after Wickremesinghe said he would resign when a new government is formed, hours after the island nation saw crowds storming President Rajapaksa’s home and office.
Top updates on Sri Lanka economic crisis:
> President Rajapaksa, who fled his official residence to escape a mob of protesters, has agreed to step down next week, parliamentary speaker Mahinda Abeywardana said. "To ensure a peaceful transition, the president said he will step down on July 13," Abeywardana said in a televised statement.
> The office of Wickremesinghe said the protesters forced their way into his Colombo home on Saturday evening. It's not immediately clear if he was inside at the time of the attack.
> The prime minister agreed to resign on Saturday after party leaders in Parliament demanded both he and the embattled president step down on the day protesters stormed the president's residence and office in a fury over a worsening economic crisis. Wickremesinghe said in a voice statement that he will resign when all parties have agreed on a new government.
> A group of lawmakers from the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna have written to President Rajapaksa to step aside and provide an opportunity for another leader to take over with a clear parliament majority, the party’s general secretary Sagara Kariyawasam said. Local media reported at least 16 lawmakers had signed the letter.
> Earlier on Saturday, tens of thousands of people broke through barricades and entered President Rajapaksa’s residence and nearby office to vent their anger against a leader they hold responsible for the nation’s worst crisis.
> Footage showed people in a jubilant mood taking a dip in the garden pool of the residence. Some lay on beds, others made tea and drank, and made “statements” from the conference room that Rajapaksa and Wickremesinghe must immediately quit.
> At least 34 people, including two police officers, were wounded in scuffles as protesters tried to enter the residence.
> A local news channel said four journalists outside the prime minister's private home were assaulted during the protests. The prime minister's office, in a statement, expressed "grave regret" over the assault on journalists by security personnel.
(With inputs from agencies)