Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa intends to resign next Wednesday (July 13) after at least 100,000 angry demonstrators took to the streets to protest his handling of the country’s economic crisis.
A large number of protesters stormed the gates of the presidential palace and made their way inside. Photos and videos showed people rushing into the palace and swimming in his pool. Rajapaksa was relocated by security officials and is safe.
Protesters also targeted the private residence of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, setting it on fire. Wickremesinghe also said that he would step down from his position.
Sri Lanka has been dealing with a severe economic crisis that has caused a massive shortage of essential items, including food and fuel. The country has been relying on financial aid from India and is desperately trying to negotiate a bailout with the International Monetary Fund.
Many people blame Rajapaksa, who has ruled the nation for the past two decades, for the problems. The protests have been building for months. In May, Rajapaksa’s older brother was forced to resign as prime minister following violent protests.
According to CNN, the speaker of parliament will become acting president for no more than 30 days. During that time, parliament will elect a sitting member to serve out the final two years of Rajapaksa’s term.