Sri Lanka declares state of emergency after presidential defection and appoints prime minister as acting president

Sri Lanka declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, hours after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was named acting president.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives issued a statement appointing Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as Acting Speaker.

“Since the president has left the country, a state of emergency has been declared due to the situation in the country,” Dinock Columbag, a spokesman for the prime minister, told AFP.

In this regard, the Sri Lankan police used tear gas to disperse thousands of demonstrators who had gathered in front of the Prime Minister’s Office.

The demonstrators are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the same time as the resignation of President Gotabay Rajapaksa, who fled to the Maldives.

Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence in 1948, and last week Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa sent a letter to the Russian President asking for cooperation between the two countries on oil purchases.

Source: AFP.

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