Sunday, Nov 27, 2022

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Says He Will Resign In Favour Of An All-Party Government

Amid mass-protests in which protesters occupied President's House, President Rajapaksa has moved to an unknown location, as per reports.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe AP

Hours after thousands of protesters stormed into President's House and Presidential Secretariat in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe announced he will resign in favour of an all-party government.

Making the announcement in a tweet, Wickremesinghe said, "To ensure the continuation of the Government including the safety of all citizens I accept the best recommendation of the Party Leaders today, to make way for an All-Party Government. To facilitate this I will resign as Prime Minister."

After occupying President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's residence, protesters also occupied the space outside the residence of Wickremesinghe. Visuals of the gathering surfaced on social media. 

Several thousands of people took to Colombo's streets on Saturday in opposition to the government that they blame for the country's worst financial crisis. 

Anticipating protests on Saturday, Gotabaya vacated his house on Friday and moved to an unknown location, as per reports.

Protesters are demanding the resignation of both Gotabaya and Wickremesinghe.

Wickremesinghe's office said that he will continue as Prime Minister until the new government is made.

Earlier on Saturday, Wickremesinghe told party leaders he was taking the decision to step down in view of the fact that nationwide fuel distribution is due to recommence this week, the World Food Programme Director is due to visit the country this week, and the debt sustainability report for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is due to be finalised shortly.

So as to ensure the safety of the citizens, the prime minister said he is agreeable to this recommendation by the Opposition party leaders. 

(With PTI inputs)