Sri Lanka Crisis Updates: Sajith Premadasa Announces Bid to Succeed Rajapaksa; Use of 'His Excellency' to Address Prez Prohibited

Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: Under the constitution, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will automatically become acting president until parliament can appoint a successor

By: News Desk

News18.com

Last Updated: July 15, 2022, 23:50 IST

New Delhi

Sri Lankan protesters storm the compound of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's office, demanding he resign after president Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country, on July 13. (AP/PTI Photo)
Sri Lanka recently hosted Australia successfully amid the political and economical crisis. (Photo: AP)

Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa on Friday announced his bid to become the next President of Sri Lanka in the parliamentary vote to be held next week to elect the successor to Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Exhausted and drained after nearly 100 days of protests, a small crowd gathered its remaining strength Thursday to celebrate the resignation of Sri Lanka’s leader at the seaside headquarters of their campaign to oust him.

A stone’s throw from what had days earlier been the office of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, people smiled wearily at their compatriots as they danced, handed out sweets, embraced each other or waved the Read More

Jul 15, 2022 23:50 IST

Sajith Premadasa Announces Bid to Succeed Rajapaksa

Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa on Friday announced his bid to become the next President of Sri Lanka in the parliamentary vote to be held next week to elect the successor to Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The SJB leader has the support of 50 plus MPs

Jul 15, 2022 22:08 IST

Sri Lanka: Wickremesinghe Prohibits Use of 'His Excellency' to Address Prez, Abolish Presidential Flag

Sri Lanka’s interim President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday decided to prohibit the use of the word ‘His Excellency’ to address the President and abolished the presidential flag, as he underlined his commitment to protecting democracy and the Constitution of the crisis-hit country. READ MORE

Jul 15, 2022 21:34 IST

China Says 'Positive Progress' Made in Facilitating Return of Stranded Indian Students

China said on Friday that positive progress has been made in facilitating hundreds of Indian students stranded back home due to the COVID-19 visa restrictions to re-join their colleges in this country. “As far as I know, positive progress has been made on facilitating the return of Indian students to China,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin said.

Jul 15, 2022 20:19 IST

Wickremesinghe Visits Injured Soldiers at Army Hospital

Sri Lanka interim president Ranil Wickremesinghe today visited injured soldiers who are being treated at the army hospital, reported local news channel Newswire.

Jul 15, 2022 20:07 IST

India Helping Crisis-hit Lanka: Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that India is trying to help Sri Lanka as appropriately as possible to deal with the unprecedented crisis that the island nation is facing. He said that the country has maintained strong and friendly relations with all its neighbours, whether it is Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Maldives or Bangladesh, and has undertaken various endeavours to keep ties intact. “India is trying to help friend Sri Lanka as appropriately as possible despite having also been affected by COVID-19 and Ukraine crises,” he said.

Jul 15, 2022 19:08 IST

US Committed to Democratic Aspirations of Sri Lankan People: US Ambassador

The US is committed to the democratic aspirations of the Sri Lankan people, the US envoy in Colombo said urging all parties to work together to ensure the rule of law is upheld. The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Julie Chung, said that following Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation all the parties should join hands to find solutions to the economic crisis. “With Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation, we continue to urge all parties to work together, ensure the rule of law is upheld and find solutions to the economic crisis. The US remains committed to the democratic aspirations of the Sri Lankan people,” Chung tweeted.

Jul 15, 2022 18:55 IST

Sri Lanka Presidential Election: Ruling Party to Support Wickremesinghe in July 20 Parliamentary Vote

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), the country’s ruling party, on Friday announced its decision to support interim president Ranil Wickremesinghe in the parliamentary vote to be held next week to elect the successor to Gotabaya Rajapaksa after unprecedented protests over the island nation’s worst economic crisis in decades. READ MORE

Jul 15, 2022 18:45 IST

Sri Lanka's Ruling Party Lauds Service Rendered by Ex-president Gotabaya Rajapaksa

The ruling party of crisis-hit Sri Lanka on Friday lauded former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa for the services he rendered to the nation and highlighted his decisive role in bringing peace to the motherland by ending 30 years of terrible terrorism. In a statement on the resignation of Rajapaksa, who resigned hours after landing in Singapore on a “private visit”, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) said that political leaders in the world of politics mostly attempted to take political power, and relinquishing power and positions was a very rare sight in the world of politics.

Jul 15, 2022 17:42 IST

President Wickremesinghe Decides to Prohibit Use of His Excellency' to Address President

Sri Lanka’s interim President Ranil Wickremesinghe decided to prohibit the use of the word ‘His Excellency’ to address the President and abolished the presidential flag, as he underlined his commitment to protecting democracy and the Constitution of the crisis-hit country.

Jul 15, 2022 17:18 IST

Supreme Court Bars Mahinda Rajapaksa, Basil Rajapaksa from Leaving Country Until July 28

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court issued an interim order preventing former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Minister Basil Rajapaksa from leaving the country without the court’s permission until July 28.

Jul 15, 2022 16:53 IST

Mahinda Rajapaksa's SLPP Announces Support to Ranil Wickremesinghe for Presidency on July 20 Parliamentary Vote

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, former president and prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s party has decided to support interim president Ranil Wickremesinghe in the upcoming Parliamentary vote for the Presidency. SLPP General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam announced the party decision.

Jul 15, 2022 16:12 IST

Sri Lanka: Forensic Team Takes Stock of Damage inside Presidential Palace

Forensic teams take stock of damage inside the Sri Lankan Presidential Palace in Colombo after protestors completely dispersed from the premises.

Sri Lanka: Forensic Team Takes Stock of Damage inside Presidential Palace

Jul 15, 2022 16:04 IST

Ranil Wickremesinghe Sworn-in as Sri Lanka's Interim President

Ranil Wickremesinghepledged to maintain law and order and revive the 19th Amendment to the Constitution aimed at empowering Parliament over the executive president as he was sworn in as Sri Lanka’s interim president until the House elects a successor to Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Jul 15, 2022 15:56 IST

In Pictures | Sri Lankan Presidential Palace Damaged After Protesters Stormed Building

Sri Lankan Presidential Palace in Colombo lies ransacked, interiors & furniture damaged after it was stormed by protestors earlier this week

Jul 15, 2022 15:42 IST

In GFX | How Did Sri Lanka Get Here? A Detailed Timeline Of The Crisis

More than 22 million Sri Lankans stare at food insecurity, fuel and energy shortage and lack of access to medical facilities due to an economic collapse. READ MORE

Jul 15, 2022 13:47 IST

Sri Lankan president's resignation accepted

The resignation of Sri Lanka’s president has been accepted, the crisis-hit country’s parliamentary speaker announced Friday, after he fled the country earlier this week, prompting relief among protesters camped outside his former offices.

The formal declaration makes Gotabaya Rajapaksa — once known as “The Terminator” for his ruthless crushing of the Tamil rebellion — the first Sri Lankan head of state to resign since it adopted an executive presidency in 1978.

He emailed in his notice from Singapore after flying to the city-state from the Maldives, where he initially escaped after demonstrators overran his palace at the weekend.

“The president has officially resigned from his position,” speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana told reporters.

Outside the presidential secretariat, at the makeshift headquarters of a months-long protest movement against Rajapaksa, Catholic priest Jeevantha Peiris told AFP: “This is a historical moment for all Sri Lankans.

“We were assaulted, put in prisons, put on travel bans, some of our friends laid their lives down. With all these hardships we have come through,” the 45-year-old said. “We have no fear anymore.”

The former president, he added, was a “bloodthirsty criminal” who should return to Sri Lanka to face justice.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as acting president — his accession was automatic under Sri Lanka’s constitution — but many of the demonstrators see him as complicit in the rule of the Rajapaksas and also want him to go.

Parliament will meet on Wednesday to elect an MP to succeed Rajapaksa for the rest of his term, the speaker’s office said, with nominations due the previous day.

Jul 15, 2022 12:36 IST

ALERT: Sri Lankan parliament to elect new president on July 20: official

Sri Lankan parliament to elect new president on July 20: official to AFP.

Jul 15, 2022 11:26 IST

India Refutes Rumors Of Helping Gotabaya Rajapaksa And His Family Flee To Maldives

The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka on Wednesday refuted rumors that India helped outgoing Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa flee Sri Lanka for Maldives.

Later, the Sri Lankan Air Force said the ministry of defense of the island-nation provided necessary clearance to Gotabaya and first lady Ioma through powers vested to the president under the Sri Lankan constitution. READ MORE

Jul 15, 2022 10:40 IST

Speaker Accepts Rajapaksa's Resignation, Ranil to Formally Step in till Process to Appoint New Prez Begins Tomorrow

Ranil Wickremesinghe will be sworn in later today as interim president till conclusion of process of electing a new president by parliament, Speaker said, according to sources.

Jul 15, 2022 09:42 IST

Who are Now the Main Contenders for the Post of President?

The main contenders for the post of President are – Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sajith Premadasa, LoP, former minister Dullas Allahaperuma and JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayaka, sources said.

national flag.

For more than three months, the seafront boulevard has been home to a cluster of tents used as a staging post for protesters demanding the despised leader step down for his role in driving Sri Lanka’s battered economy to ruin.

But only a few hundred people gathered to mark a major milestone in months of agitation, when Rajapaksa emailed his resignation from a safe haven in Singapore after fleeing the country to escape public wrath.

Many veterans of the protest movement were exhausted after enduring tear gas barrages and tense confrontations with security forces in the preceding days.

For others, the moment was marred by word that a legal technicality may delay formal recognition that Rajapaksa had indeed stepped down.

“I certainly feel, I think the crowd here definitely does feel, quite happy about it,” activist Vraie Balthaazar told AFP.

“But at the same time, I think there’s also until we see the letter, there’s always a sense of apprehension.”

Part of the small crowd drawn to the protest camp on Thursday evening danced to an improvised call-and-response song by performers on a wooden stage, chanting through a scratchy public address system, as a bemused pair of Buddhist monks looked on.

Elsewhere, the camp continued its function as a safety net for residents of the capital immiserated by the country’s economic crisis, with a group of needy citizens queuing up at a soup kitchen.

Nearly all of those present had left by midnight, in the face of evening rains, Sri Lanka’s chronic petrol shortages and a government curfew imposed to contain unrest.

The subdued celebration was a far cry from the high-octane confrontations on the streets of Colombo at the weekend, when huge throngs of people elbowed their way past troops to seize Rajapaksa’s home and office.

Soldiers had fired in the air to clear a passage for the president’s escape, mirroring the ignominious exit of his brother Mahinda, the ex-premier, from his own residence two months earlier.

Their departures, along with the resignation of sibling finance minister Basil Rajapaksa in April, have wounded — perhaps terminally — a clan that dominated the country’s politics for much of the past two decades.

“We feel really amazing. We have shown the people’s power,” university student Anjana Banadrawatta told AFP.

Under Sri Lanka’s constitution, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will automatically become acting president until parliament can appoint a successor.

But protesters are also demanding Wickremesinghe’s resignation, accusing him of helping to prop up a political order that has allowed corruption and authoritarianism to flourish.

Banadrawatta said he and others would continue their struggle in the morning.

“We are starting a new fight tomorrow with new hope,” said the 22-year-old.

But before then, he added, “of course we are going to have fun and celebrate.”

Inputs from AFP

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