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Sri Lanka crisis: Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as interim president

Rajapaksa has resigned, Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena officially announced on Friday, two days after the embattled leader fled the country in the face of massive protests.

Reported By : T Raghavan Edited By : Paras Bisht | Colombo
Updated on: July 15, 2022 13:10 IST
Sri Lanka News, sri lanka, Gotabaya Rakapaksa, Sri Lanka Protests, Sri Lanka Crisis, Sri Lanka Econo
Image Source : AP Army soldiers stand guard as protesters sleep by the entrance to presidents office in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Highlights

  • Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as interim president
  • Gotabaya Rajapaksa's resignation as Sri Lankan President has been accepted
  • Rajapaksa, 73, had gone into hiding after crowds of protesters stormed his residence on July 9

Ranil Wickremesinghe was on Friday sworn in as Sri Lanka's interim president until Parliament elects a successor to Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who resigned after protests against his government for mishandling the economy that bankrupted the country. Wickremesinghe, 73, was sworn in as the acting president of Sri Lanka before Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya. 

The election to elect a new president will be held on July 20. The last date to file nomination is July 19. The decision was taken at an all-party meeting chaired by the Speaker. Rajapaksa has resigned, Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena officially announced on Friday, two days after the embattled leader fled the country in the face of massive protests against his government for mishandling the economy that bankrupted the country.

Also Read | Sri Lanka Speaker formally announces President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's resignation

Sri Lanka is going through the worst economic crisis since its independence from Britain in 1948 and needs to obtain at least USD 4 billion to tide over the acute shortage in foreign exchange reserves. The island nation's inflation topped 50 per cent in June after two years of money printing and an attempted float botched with a surrender requirement which sent the rupee sliding to 360 to the US dollar from 200.

Sri Lanka, a country of 22 million people, is under the grip of an  unprecedented economic turmoil, the worst in seven decades, leaving millions struggling to buy food, medicine, fuel and other essentials. In several major cities, including Colombo, hundreds are forced to stand in line for hours to buy fuel, sometimes clashing with police and the military as they wait.

Also Read | Sri Lanka crisis: Important to address protestors' grievances, says UN Chief Antonio Guterres

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