Ranil Wickremesinghe becomes Sri Lanka’s acting President as Gotabaya Rajapaksa flees to Maldives


Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled Sri Lanka and took refuge in Maldives on 13 July and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was appointed as acting President.

Important facts

  • Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has asked the military to "do whatever is necessary to restore order" after protesters stormed his office.

  • The decision to depose him intensified further protests and protesters demanded that the Prime Minister should also go.

  • Sri Lanka is grappling with its worst economic crisis in decades.

  • Many blame the Rajapaksa administration for the crisis and see Wickremesinghe, who became prime minister in May, as part of the problem.

  • For the second time in less than a week, protesters ransacked the prime minister's office, a highly secure state building.

  • The Prime Minister, exercising his new powers, imposed a night curfew.

Srilanka’s crisis

  • Sri Lanka, a country with a population of 22 million, is in the grip of an unprecedented economic turmoil, the worst in seven decades, leaving millions struggling to buy food, medicine, fuel and other essentials.

  • Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said last week that Sri Lanka is now a bankrupt country.

  • Due to political corruption, distrust in the government deepened

About Ranil Wickremesinghe

  • Wickremesinghe was sworn in as prime minister in May 2022, months after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was forced to oust his elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa.

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