Ranil Wickremesinghe had earlier offered to resign and make way for an all-party government.
Colombo: Amid the deepening crisis, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday resigned as Prime Minister to make way for an all-party government to take over. The move came after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa escaped from his home as protestors surrounded the premise.
Wickremesinghe had earlier offered to resign and make way for an all-party government. His Media Division said that the Prime Minister will resign after an all-party government is established and the majority is secured in Parliament.
Wickremesinghe has reportedly told other party leaders that he is 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 IMF is due to be finalised shortly. And if amid these the protests continue, it may cause hurdles in the efforts.
In the morning, protestors stormed into the house of Rajapasksa. On Saturday, when protestors gathered to demand Rajapaksa’s resignation, the police resorted to firing tear gas shells, leading to the protest turning violent.
The incident came on a day Sri Lanka lifted a curfew on Saturday which was already being defied by thousands of people ahead of a mass rally to demand Rajapaksa’s resignation.
The police had withdrawn the stay-home order which was issued on Friday evening after opposition parties, activists and the bar association threatened to file a case against the police chief.
Thousands of anti-government protesters ignored the curfew and even forced railway authorities to operate trains to take them to Colombo for Saturday’s rally, officials said.