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Sri Lanka crisis: Gotabaya Rajapaksa to depart for Singapore shortly, UN ‘monitoring situation closely’

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled to the Maldives on Wednesday, was due to fly to Singapore today as the country’s situation worsened. More demonstrations erupted as a result of his decision to keep Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in charge as acting President. Acting President and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe requested Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena on Wednesday to appoint a Prime Minister who is acceptable to both the government and the opposition.

Here are top developments:

  • In the midst of the current upheaval in Sri Lanka, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has stated that he is “very closely” monitoring the situation. Noting the need of addressing the core causes of the conflict and demonstrators’ concerns, the UN Secretary-General has encouraged all party leaders to embrace the “spirit of compromise” for a peaceful and democratic transition.
  • In the midst of Sri Lanka’s current economic and political crisis, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung has pushed for a peaceful transition of power within the country’s constitutional framework, saying that the US condemns all violence and begs for the rule of law to be preserved in affected island nation.
  • The Lankan political leaders convened an all-party conference, during which it was determined that the parliament Speaker would serve as acting President. The office of Ranil Wickremesinghe, who has been requested to resign, stated that the ruling and opposition parties must establish an all-party administration.
  • Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has also requested that Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena appoint a Prime Minister who will be acceptable to both the government and the opposition.
  • The curfew enforced by Ranil Wickremesinghe in response to the state’s escalating demonstrations against the government has been lifted.
  • Rupavahini Corporation, Sri Lanka’s state-run television network, momentarily paused its broadcast after demonstrators invaded the station. Later, the channel resumed its transmission.
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