Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe declares state of emergency

Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as Sri Lanka's acting president

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Sri Lanka emergency: Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sri Lanka’s acting President has declared a state of emergency. A government notice released late on Sunday (July 17) bears the declaration. The decision has come amid the economic crisis. Sri Lanka is going through an unprecedented economic crisis that has seen acute shortage of medicines, fuel and even food. The country has seen weeks of massive protests during which official residences of the former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa and even Wickremesinghe ransacked. Rajapaksa has fled the country and has resigned while Wickremesinghe is the new president.

Sunday, July 17 marked 100th day of protests in Sri Lanka.

Former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s mismanagement is largely being blamed for Sri Lanka’s current predicament. Sri Lanka’s 22 million population has been forced to face shortage of food, medicines and fuel since late last year.

Watch | Sri Lanka’s economic crisis continues to worsen; protest movement reaches 100 days

Protests to oust Rajapaksa were mainly organised through Facebook, Twitter and Tik Tok posts. They drew large number of people from across Sri Lanka and across ethnic divides.

Minority Tamils and Muslims joined majority Sinhalese to demand ouster of Rajapaksa.

It began as a two-day protest on April 9. Tens of thousands of people set up camp in front of Rajapaksa’s office.

Under Sri Lanka’s constitution, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was automatically installed as acting president following Rajapaksa’s resignation.

Also Read | Sri Lanka: The rise and fall of the Rajapaksas

He is now the leading candidate to succeed him permanently in a parliamentary vote next week.

But the veteran politician is despised by the protesters as an ally of the Rajapaksa clan — four brothers who have dominated the island’s politics for years.

(With inputs from agencies)

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