SRI Lanka protesters have stormed the president’s palace and set the PM’s house on fire as the country’s economy collapses and both men resign.
The Prime Minister’s private residence was set alight just hours after he said he would step down over the country’s worsening economic crisis.
Ranil Wickremesinghe announced his resignation on Saturday afternoon following mounting demonstrations across スリランカ, which has been hit with soaring inflation and fuel shortages.
It comes hours after thousands of protesters stormed the President’s palace and were spotted swimming in the pool.
Demonstrators stormed President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s home and nearby office in Colombo.
Dramatic footage showed hundreds of protesters inside and outside his home, chanting and carrying national flags with some even dipping in the garden pool for a swim.
Others were seen walking around the property and watching TV while outside the building barricades were overturned and a black flag was hoisted on a pole.
Security staff tried to stop demonstrators but were overwhelmed when the hoard pushed through fences and ran across the lawns and inside the building.
少なくとも 34 people including two police officers were wounded in scuffles.
その間, demonstrators also stormed the President’s seaside office in a nearby building.
The president was moved to a secure location as a safety precaution, according to two defence ministry sources, 空 報告.
The country’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who took over in May, has agreed to step down following demands by party leaders in Parliament, his Office said.
Last month he announced that the country’s economy had collapsed and said it is now bankrupt.
Sri Lanka’s crisis has been attributed to a number of reasons including the Covid pandemic, huge tax cuts and massive debts.
The country is battling the worst financial crisis in a generation as its leaders try to negotiate a bailout with the International Monetary Fund.
The economic meltdown has led to severe shortages of essential items, leaving people struggling to buy goods including food and fuel.
And inflation has hit a record high of 54 percent while the price of food shot up an eye-watering 80 パーセント, による [object Window].
4月中, Sri Lanka announced it is suspending repaying foreign loans due to a foreign currency shortage.
Its total foreign debt amounts to $51 billion of which it must repay $28 billion by the end of 2027.
The political turmoil has led to months of protests with people calling for the President to resign.
US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung asked people to protest peacefully and called for the military and police to grant peaceful protesters the space and security to do so.
“Chaos & force will not fix the economy or bring the political stability that Sri Lankans need right now,” Chung said in a tweet.
The unrest in Sri Lanka has led the UK government to put the country back on the travel ban list, なので TUI has cancelled flights to Sri Lanka.
The Foreign Office said in a statement: “The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka, due to the impact of the current economic crisis.”