Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled his official residence in Colombo on Saturday, minutes before being seized by angry protesters, a source in the country’s defense ministry told AFP.
Private television Sirasa showed images of angry protesters besieging the presidential palace, which until now had been heavily guarded by the military.
The same security source indicated that Gotabaya Rajapaksa remains the President of Sri Lanka and is currently under military protection at a secret location.
Tens of thousands of people had previously demonstrated to demand Rajapakse’s resignation. He was responsible for the economic crisis An unprecedented event hits Sri Lanka, causing inflation Severe fuel shortageElectricity and food.
On Friday, law enforcement officials set up barricades to prevent protesters from taking to the streets, but the move was lifted after opposition parties, human rights activists and the lawyers’ association threatened to sue the police chief.
Police restrictions were completely ignored by protesters, some of whom forced railway officials to take part in the demonstrations by train to the capital, Colombo, the same sources told AFP.
Prime Minister calls for emergency meeting
After escaping Gotabaya Rajapaksa From his official residence in Colombo, Mr Sri Lanka’s prime minister convened an emergency meeting on Saturday, AFP reported. Ranil Wickremesinghe called on the government to discuss a “quick solution” to the current political crisis.
The executive chairman, who is considered next in line if the president steps down, invited political party leaders to the meeting and called for an emergency parliamentary session to discuss the crisis, his office said.