Richmond C. Amadi is an independent journalist, Book Publisher, member of RSU Alumni, Researcher (currently researching with Researchgate.net), Writer, Motivational Speaker. He is a BSc Holder in Office and Information Management, and Diploma holder in Management all from Rivers State University. Currently doing his MSc with RSU. Contact him on Richmond.firstname.lastname@example.org or Amadirichmondc@gmail.com All Social Platforms: @amadirichmondc
Sri Lankan president resigns after pressure from angry citizens
Rajapaksa had fled his official residence in Colombo after it was stormed by angry citizens demanding his resignation.
He was taken aboard a naval vessel, SLNS Gajabahu, where a naval officer said he would remain until it was safe for him to return to the mainland.
The embattled president’s whereabouts were unknown after he was moved out of his residence on Friday ahead of yesterday’s protests.
Rajapaksa was using the President’s House as his residence and office since protesters came to occupy the entrance to his office early April.
According to sources, the president had been moved out of his residence on Friday, in anticipation of yesterrday’s protests.
Reports had also surfaced yesterday that Rajapaska’s luggage was rushed on to the Sri Lanka Navy Ship Gajabahu anchored at the Colombo Port, News 1st channel reported on Saturday.
“The Harbour Master at the Colombo Port said a group boarded the SLNS Sindurala and SLNS Gajabahu and left the port,” it added.
The protesters had entered the rooms which were otherwise heavily guarded as the embattled president fled his home.
Two videos shared on social media showed protesters taking a dip inside the swimming pool which is usually reserved for the president and his immediate family.
In the 16-second long video, dozens of protesters are seen taking a dip inside.
Gotabaya asked to step down in party leaders’ meeting
At the party leaders’ meeting presided over by the speaker yesterday, it was reportedly decided that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa must tender his resignation.
According to reports, the party leaders had requested the president to step down.
The speaker summoned a party leaders’ meeting after the public stormed the president’s official residence and presidential secretariat in Colombo.
Rajapaksa had reportedly said he would respect the decision taken at the party leaders’ meeting.
According to Ada Derana, the PMO said the president had informed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of his decision, and the latter had held initial discussions with several party leaders.
Prime minister plans resignation as protesters set residence on fire
Sri Lanka’s prime minister yesterday agreed to resign after party leaders in parliament demanded that both he and the embattled president should step down on the day protesters stormed the president’s residence and office in a fury over worsening economic crisis.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in a voice statement that he would resign when all parties had agreed on a new government.
His decision coincided with the burning of his residence by angry protesters.
“Today in this country, we have a fuel crisis, a food shortage, we have the head of the World Food Programme coming here and we have several matters to discuss with the IMF. Therefore, if this government leaves, there should be another government,” he said.
His decision also came after the biggest protest yet swept Sri Lanka as tens of thousands of people broke through barricades and entered President Rajapaksa’s residence and nearby office to vent their anger against a leader they hold responsible for the nation’s worst crisis.
Footage showed people in a jubilant mood taking a dip in the garden pool of the residence. Some lay on beds, others made tea and drank, and made “statements” from the conference room that Rajapaksa and Wickremesinghe must immediately quit.
Wickremesinghe said he suggested to the president to have an all-party government, but didn’t say anything about Rajapaksa’s whereabouts. Opposition parties in Parliament were already discussing the formation of a new government yesterday.
Rajapaksa appointed Wickremesinghe as prime minister in May in the hope that the career politician would use his diplomacy and contacts to resuscitate a collapsed economy.
But people’s patience wore thin as shortages of fuel, medicine and cooking gas only increased and oil reserves ran dry.
Many protesters accuse Wickremesinghe of trying to save Rajapaksa when he came under pressure to resign and every other member of his powerful political dynasty quit the Cabinet.
Later Saturday evening, protesters moved near Wickremesinghe’s home in a bid to force him to quit immediately, setting fire to his residence to press home their demand.
Hours after thousands of protesters broke through police barricades and stormed into President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s official residence, an angry mob marched into the private residence of Wickremesinghe and vandalised his properties.
“Protesters have broken into the private residence of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and have set it on fire,” said the Lankan Prime Minister’s Office. Visuals of the incident were all over social media sites yesterday