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Sri Lanka crisis HIGHLIGHTS | 35 injured in clash near Parliament; curfew imposed till Thursday early morning

Thousands of protesters waving Lankan flags defied the emergency and surrounded the building of the PM Office. The police fired tear gas on protesters who broke through a barricade.

Published: 13th July 2022 02:50 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th July 2022 12:54 AM   |  A+A-

Police use tear gas to disperse the protesters who stormed the compound of prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe 's office, demanding he resign. (Photo | AP)

By Online Desk

Thousands of anti-government protesters stormed into Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's office in Flower Road on Wednesday, hours after he was named as acting President.

The mob breached military defences and entered the PM's office to raise national flags, according to witnesses. It is said that police failed to hold back crowds despite firing tear gas and water cannon.

Sri Lanka declared a state of emergency on Wednesday after the president fled overseas to escape anti-government protests.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had promised to resign on Wednesday after fleeing his official residence in Colombo.

09:37 Jul 13

Sri Lanka's opposition leaders ask PM Wickremesinghe to quit ahead of President's resignation

  • Sri Lanka's opposition leaders have asked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to quit ahead of the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who has promised to step down on Wednesday, according to a media report.
  • Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M. A. Sumanthiran said on Wednesday that the decision was taken at an all-party meeting which was attended by leaders excluding those from the Government, News 1st channel reported.
  • He said two unanimous decisions were taken at the meeting, and one was for Wickremesinghe to resign immediately, while the other was for the speaker to sack the Prime Minister before the President's resignation takes effect, the channel reported.
  • Meanwhile, Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella from the Samagi Jana Balavegaya said the Commanders of the three-armed forces were also present at the meeting.
  • "The Prime Minister was avoiding the party leaders," he said.
  • The Commanders informed that the protesters were near the gates of parliament, and wanted permission to repel them by using force, he said.
  • "We said we cannot agree to such a request," he said, adding that at the last party leaders meeting the call was for the President and the Prime Minister to resign.
  • The leaders have asked the speaker to sack Wickremesinghe to take up the post of Acting President, and thereafter Parliament is prepared to work with him.
  • President Rajapaksa on Wednesday fled to the Maldives from where he appointed Prime Minister Wickremesinghe as the acting President, escalating the political crisis and triggering a fresh wave of protests in the country reeling under the worst financial crisis in decades.
  • Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena has said that President Rajapaksa has informed him over the telephone that he will resign today as promised.
  • He said the vote for the new president will take place on July 20. Wickremesinghe, who is now acting President, has declared a state of emergency in the country and a curfew in the Western province has been imposed as protesters gathered near his office at Flower Road in Colombo.
10:45 Jul 13

Curfew till Thursday early morning

An islandwide curfew has been imposed until 5:00am on the Thursday the 14th of July 2022.

10:45 Jul 13

Even ambulances didn't get spared from the violence

10:44 Jul 13

WATCH | Protestors accuse government forces of beating them

10:43 Jul 13

WATCH | Visuals from Sri Lanka's state-owned television channel Rupavahini's headquarter earlier Wednesday

10:42 Jul 13

35 hurt in clashes near Parliament

So far 35 persons hospitalized following clashes at Polduwa junction near Parliament: Hospital sources.

10:26 Jul 13

'Military crackdown on protesters could worsen situation': Experts on Sri Lanka crisis

It is very important that political anarchy is avoided in Sri Lanka and all the stakeholders must work together to restore political stability, they said. (READ FULL STORY HERE)

09:21 Jul 13

Gotabaya issues Gazette appointing Ranil as Acting President

Gazette Extraordinary issued by the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, appointing Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to exercise, perform & discharge the powers, duties & functions of the Office of President with effect from July 13, 2022.

09:01 Jul 13

WATCH | Latest scenes from the island nation

08:32 Jul 13

Sri Lanka crisis will have 'big impact' on Chinese investments, bilateral ties: Experts

"In the short run, there will be a big impact on China's relations with Sri Lanka because the influence of the Rajapaksa family in Sri Lanka's political circles will be undermined and a political comeback will be unlikely in the near future," Lin Minwang, a South Asia expert at Fudan University in Shanghai said as quoted by Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post on Tuesday. (READ FULL STORY HERE)

08:30 Jul 13

'Appoint a PM acceptable to both the Government and Opposition': Wickremesinghe to Sri Lanka Speaker

Acting President and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has informed Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to nominate a Prime Minister who is acceptable to both the Government and Opposition.
08:16 Jul 13

'Gota Go Home!': A brief history of the rise, fall of Sri Lanka's President

From being a "war hero" to becoming a symbol of hatred who pushed the island nation into an economic and constitutional crisis and fled the country hours before he was supposed to step down in the face of a public revolt, Rajapaksa's political destiny has turned a full circle. (READ FULL STORY HERE)

08:07 Jul 13

Economy collapses, protests swell, President flees: Sri Lanka's turmoil explained

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said he will resign, after months of protests against his government over the worst economic crisis in the nation's history. (READ FULL STORY HERE)

08:06 Jul 13

'Take steps to ensure law and order': Sri Lanka's ruling SLPP party to acting President Wickremesinghe

Sri Lanka is witnessing an escalating political crisis and a fresh wave of protests triggered by the fleeing of embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa from the country to the Maldives. (READ FULL STORY HERE)

08:03 Jul 13

26-year-old protestor dies

A 26 year old protestor who was hospitalized after being tear-gassed outside the Prime Minister's office in Flower Road today has died after developing breathing difficulties.

06:57 Jul 13

Rajapaksa to leave for Singapore from Maldives

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who landed in the Maldivian capital Male on a Sri Lankan Air Force plane, will be leaving for Singapore on Wednesday. Rajapaksa who left for the Maldives early this morning is to leave for Singapore later Wednesday, sources in the Maldives told the Daily Mirror. (Read more)

06:40 Jul 13

Sri Lankan military calls for political resolution to maintain law and order

  • Sri Lanka's military and the police requested the Speaker to call an all-party leaders' meeting and inform them of the steps they will take to ensure a political resolution to the "current conflict" in the run-up to the appointment of a new president.
  • In a statement, Chief of Defence Staff General Shavendra Silva made "a special appeal" to the people, especially the youth, to support the three forces and the police to maintain law and order in the county.
  • He urged protesters not to vandalise state or private property.
  • "We, the tri-forces commanders and the Inspector General of police have requested the Speaker (Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena) to call an all-party leaders meeting and inform us of the steps they will take to ensure a political resolution to current conflict in the run up to the appointment of a new president," Silva said.
06:15 Jul 13

Lanka IOC steps up fuel supplies; to maintain separate stockpile for ambulances

  • Lanka IOC has asked all its 216 petrol pumps in Sri Lanka to maintain a separate fuel stockpile for supply to ambulances in the crisis-hit island nation. 
  • Lanka IOC has ramped up operations to meet the increased fuel demand. It is selling some 1.5 million litres of petrol and diesel from its petrol pumps daily. With depleted foreign exchange reserves, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is facing problems importing oil.
05:12 Jul 13

Emergency party leaders meeting called

Sri Lankan Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene calls for emergency Party Leaders meeting at 5:30 pm, according to Sri Lankan media reports.

04:08 Jul 13

Will not comment: Maldives Foreign Ministry on Rajapaksa's arrival

The Maldives' Foreign Ministry on Wednesday refused to comment on embattled Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's arrival in the country along with his wife and two security officers on board a military aircraft that took off from Colombo's main international airport. (Read more)

04:07 Jul 13

Acting President Wickremesinghe defiant in TV address

  • Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe in a televised address said he had instructed security forces to restore order, but troops were seen backing down at his office leaving gates open for protesters to stroll in, AFP reported.
  • "I have ordered military commanders and the police chief to do what is necessary to restore order," Wickremesinghe said.
  • "Those who stormed into my office want to stop me from discharging my responsibilities as acting president."
  • His private home was set ablaze on Saturday after protesters captured the president's office and home on Saturday.
  • "We can't tear up our constitution. We can’t allow fascists to take over. We must end this fascist threat to democracy," he said adding that the state buildings occupied by protesters must be returned to state custody.
04:01 Jul 13

Military helicopters fly over protest site

03:59 Jul 13

Timeline: How Sri Lanka fell apart!

It's the economy stupid. Bill Clinton's famous line sums up the crisis that went on to drive the all-powerful Rajapaksa family out of Sri Lanka.

The Emerald Isles, home to 22 million people, has suffered months of lengthy blackouts, acute food and fuel shortages, and galloping inflation in its most painful downturn on record.

A timeline of how it all unravelled.

03:58 Jul 13

Don't fall ill, warn Lanka doctors due to drug shortage

Don't fall ill or get into accidents, the advice doctors in Sri Lanka are giving patients as the country's economic crisis leaves its health care system short of drugs and other vital supplies. (Read more)

03:45 Jul 13

Visuals of protesters storming the PM office

03:39 Jul 13

Sri Lanka anti-government protesters break into state TV station

  • Sri Lanka's anti-government protesters broke into the main state television station Wednesday and briefly took over broadcasts, footage showed.
  • An unidentified man barged into the studio of Rupavahini network during a live programme and ordered that only protest-related news should be broadcast. The transmission was cut off and replaced with a recorded programme.
03:38 Jul 13

Committee formed to control situation

  • According to local news media reports, a committee, comprising the Chief of Defence Staff, Tri-forces Commanders, and the Inspector General of Police has been appointed to control the current situation in Lanka, said acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe.
  • He further accused protesters of resorting to fascism, adding that the emergency rule and curfew will be in place to prevent these efforts and to restore normalcy in the country.
03:35 Jul 13

Rajapaksa will resign today as promised: Speaker

Sri Lanka's Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has informed him over telephone that he will resign on Wednesday as promised. He said the vote for the new president will take place on July 20 and urged citizens to remain calm.


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