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Sri Lanka Awaits President’s Resignation

A protester sits on a chair surrounded by others after storming Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's office, demanding he resign after president Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country amid economic crisis in Colombo, Sri Lanka, July 13, 2022.

People in Sri Lanka waited Thursday for the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled to the Maldives amid protests fueled by an economic crisis.

Rajapaksa has said he would step down Wednesday night.

Protesters gathered late Wednesday outside Sri Lanka’s parliament where security officers fired tear gas.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe imposed a curfew in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, until Friday morning, according to Reuters, in order to try to prevent further unrest.

Wickremesinghe also declared a nationwide state of emergency.

Sri Lankan lawmakers have said they plan to elect a new president next week who will serve out the rest of Rajapaksa’s term.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he is closely following the situation.

“It is important that the root causes of the conflict and protestors’ grievances are addressed,” Guterres tweeted Wednesday. “I urge all party leaders to embrace the spirit of compromise for a peaceful and democratic transition.”

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.