Jul 16, 2022 | 17:56PM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: Acting president Ranil Wickremesinghe announces relief package
Sri Lanka’s acting president Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday announced relief packages to provide fuel, gas and essential food items for people struggling due to economic pressure, the PM’s media division noted. The decision was taken following discussions with Ministers and MPs this morning.
Jul 16, 2022 | 15:43PM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: Who are the likely candidates for next President?
Sri Lanka’s Parliament met in a brief special session today and announced the vacancy in the presidency following the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. So, who will be the next President of the crisis-hit nation? The frontrunners for the post include Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe, the pro-Western six-time prime minister and the leader of the opposition Sajith Premadasa, who announced his candidacy yesterday.
The SLPP has more than 100 seats and if party discipline holds, Wickremesinghe is almost certain to be elected. However, the party is fractured so that unity is not guaranteed, and SLPP dissident Dullas Alahapperuma, a former media minister, is a serious challenger to Wickremesinghe. Besides them, Sajith Premadasa, the main opposition leader, has announced that he would also enter the fray. A possible fourth contender is former army chief Sarath Fonseka, a nemesis of the Rajapaksa family.
Jul 16, 2022 | 11:23AM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: Former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa defends himsel in resignation letter
Former Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa has defended himself in his resignation letter, which was read out during a special session of Parliament today. “I served my motherland to the best of my ability and I will continue to do so in the future,” he stated in the letter. Sri Lanka’s Parliament met briefly to announce the vacancy in the presidency following the resignation of Rajapaksa, who fled to the country on Wednesday after a popular uprising against him for mishandling the country’s economic crisis. The resignation letter sent by Rajapaksa from Singapore was read during the 13-minute special session. In his resignation letter, Rajapksa, 73, blamed the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown for Sri Lanka’s economic woes. Rajapaksa said he took the best steps like trying to form an all-party government to counter the economic meltdown.
Jul 16, 2022 | 11:15AM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: Parliament meets to announce president’s vacancy
Sri Lanka’s Parliament has met today in a brief special session to announce the vacancy in the presidency following the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. During the 13-minute special session, Secretary General of ParliamentDhammika Dassanayake announced the vacancy for the post of president. Former president Rajapaksa’s resignation letter was read during the session. “According to section 4 of the presidential elections (special provisions) Act No 2 of 1981 the parliament should be convened within three days after the vacancy occurs,” Janakantha de Silva, Parliament’s director of communications, said earlier.
Jul 16, 2022 | 09:22AM IST
WATCH – Sri Lankan cricketer Chamika Karunaratne speaks about ongoing crisis
Jul 16, 2022 | 09:21AM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: Sri Lankan cricketer Chamika Karunaratne thanks India for helping his country
Sri Lankan cricketer Chamika Karunaratne thanked India for helping his country amid teh ongoing economic crisis. “India is like a brother country and they are helping us a lot. I thank them so much. We have problems. They are supporting us when we are struggling. Thank you so much for that. Thank you for everything. We will get better and better,” Karunaratne told news agency ANI.
Jul 16, 2022 | 09:15AM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: India will continue to be supportive, says High Commission of India in Colombo
Jul 16, 2022 | 08:01AM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: Parliament to meet today
The Sri Lankan Parliament will meet today following Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation as President. Two days after fleeing Sri Lanka amid massive protests over his government’s mismanagement of the island nation’s economy, President Rajapaksa resigned on Friday. The 73-year-old leader on Thursday e-mailed his resignation from Singapore after flying to the city-state from the Maldives, where he initially arrived after leaving Sri Lanka.
Jul 16, 2022 | 07:49AM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: Nation’s Parliament to elect next president for the first time since 1978
Sri Lanka will elect the crisis-hit country’s next president through a secret vote by the MPs and not through a popular mandate, following the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa who was ousted by a popular uprising against him, an even that will happen for the first time since 1978. The 225-member Parliament will elect the new president by a secret vote on July 20, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said on Friday. Never in the history of the presidency since 1978 that Parliament had voted to elect a president. Presidential elections in 1982, 1988, 1994, 1999, 2005, 2010, 2015 and 2019 had elected them by popular vote. The only previous occasion when the presidency became vacant mid-term was in 1993 when president Ranasinghe Premadasa was assassinated. DB Wijetunga was unanimously endorsed by Parliament to run the balance of Premadasa’s term.
Jul 16, 2022 | 07:45AM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa vows to listen to people if he wins Presidential poll
Sajith Premadasa, the leader of opposition in Sri Lanka, has vowed that he will “listen to the people” who are struggling through the island nation’s worst economic crisis and ensure that “an elective dictatorship never, ever occurs” in the country, if he wins the Presidential election. “That’s what we should do. That is our function — catching those who looted Sri Lanka. That should be done through proper constitutional, legal, democratic procedures,” Premadasa, who is seeking the presidency next week, told the Associated Press on Friday.
Jul 15, 2022 | 22:53PM IST
Leader of Opposition Sajith Premadasa announces candidature for President
LoP Sajith Premadasa on Friday announced in a tweet that he is contesting for the President’s office. “I am contesting to be the President. The electorate is confined to 225 MPs with the GR coalition dominating the numbers. Even though it is an uphill struggle I am convinced that truth will prevail,” the MP from Colombo wrote in a tweet.
Jul 15, 2022 | 19:40PM IST
Sri Lanka’s acting president Ranil Wickramsinghe appoints special committee to main law and order
Ranil Wickramsinghe on Friday announced a special committee consisting of the Chief of Defense Staff, Inspector General of Police and the commanders of the three armed forces to maintain and oversee law and order. “They have been given full freedom to take legal action without any political interference,” he said.
Jul 15, 2022 | 19:37PM IST
Sri Lanka’s acting president Ranil Wickramsinghe prohibits use of word ‘His Excellency’; abolishes presidential flag
Sri Lanka’s acting president Ranil Wickramasinghe on Friday, in two major decisions, prohibited the use of word ‘his excellency’ to introduce the president and abolished the presidential flag.
“As Acting President, I will take two more decisions. The use of the word “His Excellency” to introduce the President is officially prohibited. As well as the presidential flag will be abolished,” Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
Jul 15, 2022 | 19:41PM IST
Sri Lanka’s Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe advocates creating ‘safe environment’ for MPs
Sri Lanka’s Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday stressed the need to create a ‘protective environment for MPs where they can express their opinion freely.’
“We must create an environment for MPs so that they can express their opinion independently. They will be provided with full protection. We will not allow any group to destroy the democracy in Parliament,” Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
Wickremesinghe further alleged that there were ‘groups trying to set the country on fire through fascist methods.’ “There are groups that are trying to set the country on fire through fascist methods by suppressing democracy. Two weapons belonging to the security forces along with bullets were stolen by such persons near Parliament,” he said.
Jul 15, 2022 | 17:40PM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: SC prevents former PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Minister Basil Rajapaksa from leaving country
The Srilankan Supreme Court on Friday 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, Sri Lanka’s Daily Mirror reported.
Jul 15, 2022 | 13:48PM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: IMF wants stability in nation to resume talks on bailout package
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that it is deeply concerned about the ongoing crisis in Sri Lanka and hopes for a resolution of the current situation to resume talks as soon as possible on a bailout package for the island nation. “We hope for a resolution of the current situation that would allow for our resumption of a dialogue on an IMF-supported programme,” Gerry Rice, the Director of the Communications Department of the IMF, was quoted as saying by News First Lanka. “The high-level discussions with the authorities that we would need to begin discussions on a programme, we hope again, that these would be able to resume as soon as possible. So, you know, looking to do all we can in just an extraordinarily difficult situation,” he added.
Jul 15, 2022 | 12:57PM IST
WATCH – Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as acting President by Sri Lankan Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya
Jul 15, 2022 | 12:35PM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as Sri Lanka’s Interim President
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has sworn in as Sri Lanka’s Interim President today. He will act as the country’s president until a new president is elected, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana had earlier said.
Jul 15, 2022 | 13:42PM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: Parliament to elect new President on July 20, says report
The Sri Lankan parliament will elect a new president on July 20, reported news agency AFP citing an official familiar with the development. This comes hours after Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena officially announced that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has resigned. The announcement came two days after the embattled leader fled the country in the face of massive protests against his government for mishandling the economy that bankrupted the country. The 73-year-old leader emailed his resignation letter to the Speaker yesterday soon after he reached Singapore from the Maldives.
Jul 15, 2022 | 12:20PM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: Central Bank’s Governor warns nation may shutdown without stable government
Amid the ongoing massive economic and political unrest, the governor of Sri Lanka’s central bank, Nandalal Weerasinghe, has warned that the country may shut down if no stable government is formed soon, local media reported. There is a “lot of uncertainty” over whether enough foreign exchange can be found to pay for essential petroleum, reported BBC citing Weerasinghe. Progress on getting an international bailout package depended on having a stable administration, he said.
Jul 15, 2022 | 11:20AM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: Parliament to meet tomorrow, new President to be elected within seven days, says Speaker
Sri Lanka’s Parliament will meet tomorrow after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa officially resigned and the new President will be elected within seven days in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena has announced. The Speaker said in terms of the Constitution Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will function in the capacity of the President overseeing functions, duties, and powers of the office of the President until the constitutional procedure of electing the new President is over, the report added.
Jul 15, 2022 | 10:33AM IST
WATCH – Sri Lanka Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywarden confirms President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation
Jul 15, 2022 | 09:50AM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to be acting President, says Speaker
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will act as the President of Sri Lanka until a new President is elected, says Speaker. “Under section 38.1 (b) of the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, I have received the resignation letter of His Excellency the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Accordingly, effective from 14 July 2022 , from this point forth the President has legally resigned from his legal duties and responsibilities. Under these circumstances, the constitutional procedure of appointing a new President will now be activated. Until this constitutional procedure is over, according to the constitution the Prime Minister will function in the capacity of the President overseeing functions, duties, and powers of the office of the President,” Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana said in a press statement. He urged the public to allow a peaceful environment for all MPs to take part in the process which should finish within seven days. Under Sri Lanka’s constitution, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe — whose departure is also being demanded by protesters — will automatically become acting president until parliament can elect an MP to succeed Rajapaksa for the rest of his term.
Jul 15, 2022 | 09:37AM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation accepted, says Speaker
Sri Lanka’s parliamentary speaker has said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation had been accepted after the leader fled the country earlier this week, reported news agency AFP. “Gotabaya has legally resigned” with effect from Thursday, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana told reporters, after Rajapaksa notified the speaker from Singapore he was stepping down.
Jul 15, 2022 | 09:04AM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: Citizens await formal resignation after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa flees
People of Sri Lanka are waiting for a formal announcement confirming their president had resigned after he fled to Singapore to escape anti-government protests triggered by his country’s worst economic crisis. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa submitted his resignation yesterday after arriving in Singapore from the Maldives, where he initially escaped after demonstrators overran his palace at the weekend. Rajapaksa’s departure came after months of protests over what critics said was his mismanagement of the island nation’s economy, leading to severe hardships for its 22 million people. The parliamentary speaker’s office said Rajapaksa had emailed his resignation and it would be examined before a formal announcement, which is expected today, is made.
Jul 15, 2022 | 08:21AM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: A look at frontrunners in race to become nation’s next president
As the incumbent Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled the country this week, submitted his resignation, a six-time prime minister, the leader of the main opposition party and a journalist-turned-politician from the ruling party are vying to become Sri Lanka’s next president. The winning candidate must secure a simple majority within parliament, but also gain the confidence of hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans who have participated in the protest movement – known as the “Aragalaya”, or “struggle” in Sinhala – that led to Rajapaksa’s ouster.
Jul 15, 2022 | 07:53AM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: Defence Ministry orders to strictly implement law and order, bring normalcy in nation
Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defense has said that instructions have been given to the armed forces and the Police to strictly implement the law and order to prevent illegal activities and establish normalcy in the country, reported ColomboPage. According to the report, the Secretary of Defense has strongly emphasized that attacking the Police/security force personnel and inciting the youth to do such illegal activities as well as damaging public property and harassing the public is a threat to the normal life of the people. Therefore, strict orders have been given to prevent such actions and establish normalcy in the country.
Jul 15, 2022 | 07:41AM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: China silent on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fleeing island nation
Watching silently the political crisis in Sri Lanka where it has billions of dollars of investments, China has kept mum over the fall of the Rajapaksa brothers who promoted its expansive infrastructure projects in the island nation facing an unprecedented economic turmoil. Asked for China’s comment on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fleeing the country amid unprecedented public protests demanding his resignation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin reiterated Beijing’s call for all parties in Sri Lanka to work together to revitalise the economy. “As a friend, neighbour and cooperation partner, China sincerely hopes that all sectors in Sri Lanka could bear in mind the fundamental interests of their country and people and work together in solidarity to overcome the current difficulties and strive to restore stability, revitalise the economy and improve people’s livelihoods at an early date,” Wang said.
Jul 15, 2022 | 07:03AM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: Talks with island nation ‘interrupted’ by unrest, says IMF
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) hopes unrest in Sri Lanka will be resolved soon so that aid talks that were interrupted can resume, a fund spokesman said yesterday. Formal discussions on a new loan program for the cash-strapped island nation began last month but were thrown off course by the political upheaval that led to the resignation of the country’s president. “We are, of course, deeply concerned about the ongoing crisis of impact on the Sri Lankan people and particularly the poor and the vulnerable groups,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters. Following constructive early talks, “clearly the political and the social emergency situation… has interrupted those discussions,” he said.
Jul 15, 2022 | 06:57AM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: Sri Lankans in Singapore criticise President Gotabaya Rajapaksa
“We are here to see a criminal” and a “fugitive who devastated our economy,” some two dozen Sri Lankans living in Singapore said as they showed up at the Changi International Airport yesterday after hearing that President Gotabya Rajapaksa who fled the country to the Maldives will land here. A Saudi Airlines flight carrying Rajapaksa arrived in Singapore from the Maldives in the evening and soon Singapore’s Foreign Ministry confirmed his presence in the country on a “private visit” and there was no request for asylum from him. Rajapaksa has not asked for asylum and neither has he been granted any asylum. Singapore generally does not grant requests for asylum, the foreign ministry spokesperson added.
Jul 15, 2022 | 06:54AM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: Protestors celebrate President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation
Exhausted and drained after nearly 100 days of protests, a group of protestors gathered to celebrate the resignation of Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the seaside headquarters of their campaign to oust him. 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. “I certainly feel, I think the crowd here definitely does feel, quite happy about it,” activist Vraie Balthaazar told news agency AFP. “But at the same time, I think there’s also until we see the letter, there’s always a sense of apprehension,” Balthaazar added.
Jul 15, 2022 | 06:51AM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: India will continue to stand with people of Sri Lanka, says MEA
Amid the political and economic crisis in Sri Lanka, India has hoped for an early solution to the crisis related to the government and its leadership through democratic means and the constitutional framework. Asserting that ensuring peace and stability of all countries in the region was an important aspect of its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, at his weekly media briefing, said India continued to stand with the Lankan people and it remained engaged with all relevant stakeholders in that country. “We will continue to stand with the people of Sri Lanka as they seek to realise their aspirations for prosperity and progress through democratic means and values as well as established institutions and constitutional framework,” Bagchi said.
Jul 15, 2022 | 06:48AM IST
Sri Lanka Crisis LIVE Updates: President Gotabaya Rajapksa submits resignation from Singapore
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa submitted his resignation yesterday shortly after reaching Singapore, the parliamentary speaker’s office said. The president resigned by email, the speaker’s spokesman said hours after he landed in the city-state, after protesters overran his palace on the weekend. He fled to the Maldives on Wednesday, and left there for Singapore a day later. “The authenticity and the legality of the e-mail will have to be checked out” before being formally accepted, the speaker’s spokesman Indunil Yapa told news agency AFP, adding a formal announcement was expected on Friday.