The acting president of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, declared this Monday a state of emergency in the Asian country, while his Administration tries to quell social unrest and deal with the economic crisis plaguing the country.
“It is convenient to do it in the interest of public safety, the protection of public order and the maintenance of essential supplies and services for the life of the community,” he said in a statement.
Wickremesinghe took office on July 15 after former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa presented his resignation on the 14th after fleeing the country amid massive popular protests against the authorities due to the very serious economic crisis that the island is going through.
The also prime minister assured that he will resign once an inclusive government is formed after the resignation of Rajapaksa, although the groups of protesters, who have been mobilizing for weeks to protest against the economic crisis and the worsening of the quality of life, also demanded the resignation of Wickremesinghe.
For his part, the president of Parliament, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, confirmed that the new president will be elected on July 20 by the Legislative Branch, a date previously chosen by the leaders of the political parties with representation.
Rajapaksa gave in after several months of protests over rising prices, lack of food, medicine and fuel, which has put the small Asian island in its worst economic crisis since it became independent. Sri Lanka has thus forced the definitive fall of the Rajapaksa family, after Gotabaya forced his brother Mahinda to resign as prime minister in early May 2022 in an attempt to quell the protests.