Update (1455ET): Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa introduced he would step down late Saturday night after a large number of protesters rushed his official residence and offices previously in the day.
Rajapaksa has taken refuge in an undisclosed area, some have pointed out, probably on a naval ship.
Parliament Loudspeaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena informed the nation in a televised statement late Saturday that Rajapaksa will resign Wednesday “ to ensure a peaceful changeover. ”
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe tweeted he will resign as well:
“ To ensure the continuation of the Government including the safety of all citizens I accept the best recommendation of the Party Leaders today, to make way for an All-Party Government … In order to facilitate this I will resign as Prime Minister. ”
The Sri Lankan constitution says in the event that Rajapaksa and Wickremesinghe each resign, the parliament speaker will assume power for just one month.
Footage circulating on social media marketing show tens of thousands of demonstrators excitedly pushing the presidential palace.
Social unrest provides the country has suffered runaway inflation and shortages of food and fuel after depleting foreign exchange reserves.
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Thousands of protesters stormed Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s official residence included in an anti-government demonstration phoning for his resignation following a country’s economic failure .
Demonstrators marched to Sri Lanka’s commercial capital of Colombo early Saturday. They jumped security fences surrounding the particular residence and overran the president’s security forces. Rajapaksa was evacuated from the palace around 1000 local time, his secretary Gamini Senarath told Bloomberg .
“ The president had been escorted to safety, ” a senior defense resource told AFP. “ He or she is still the president, they are being protected by a military unit. ”
Alleged video of the president fleeing on the naval ship.
Footage uploaded to social media platforms through the president’s residence shows thousands of protesters surrounding the palace and then charging inside.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe held emergency talks along with party leaders before the parliament speaker during the unrest to choose what was next in solving the worsening socio-economic turmoil in the country of 22 million people.
Lawmakers asked Rajapaksa to relinquish his power to enable a new leader with a parliament majority to regain control and find a swift quality to high inflation and shortages that have angered individuals for months.
The debt-laden economy of the tiny South Asian nation has “ completely collapsed ” as it lacks foreign exchange reserves to import essential items such as food and fuel. Shortages have got materialized as the government started rationing goods last month.
Although the government has held speaks with the IMF, India, The far east, and Japan for new credit lines and even spoke with Russia about purchasing heavily discounted crude , the nation entered a terminal phase where social unrest is spiraling out of control.
Visual Capitalist’s Avery Koop details several reasons for this crisis and the economic turmoil has sparked unrest over the last several months. This visual breaks down some of the elements that led to Sri Lanka’s current situation.
The Sri Lankan problems carries the potential for an Arab Spring-style eruption across some other countries that could quickly change into an “ Almost everywhere Spring” as people globally are angered by high inflation and shortage of food and fuel. This eruption in unrest could new moon the revolution seen in 2011 that spread across the Arabic-speaking world due to high food prices.
Everybody’s favorite permabear, SocGen’s Albert Edwards, first warned regarding the consequences associated with central banks injecting record amounts of money into the global economy at the end of 2020 and how it could ignite soaring food prices, comparable to 2011, where social unrest and revolutions were seen in many Arab countries.
Edwards’ prediction appears to be playing out. It could be much worse than a decade back as much of the world experiences economic hardships and what some believe could be the emergence of stagflation.
Could the fall of Sri Lanka transmission that weak, heavily indebted countries worldwide are about to drop like dominos?