Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa have both resigned from the Sri Lankan parliament after mass protests over the countries economic crisis.
Rajapaksa notified the speaker of the house in parliament that he would resign from the position on Wednesday after fleeing on a Navy boat amid fears that protestors would harm him.
He has not commented on the resignation directly but a written letter is needed from him to make the resignation official, something the speaker has yet to receive.
Joining him in leaving from parliament is Prime Minister Wickremesinghe who detailed that he would step down as PM as soon as a new government is introduced.
“To ensure the continuation of the Government including the safety of all citizens I accept the best recommendation of the Party Leaders today, to make way for an All-Party Government.
“To facilitate this, I will resign as Prime Minister.”
The latest riots have seen hundreds of thousands of people storm the presidential palace in Colombo which was once heavily guarded and the luxurious playground of the Rajapaksa’s.
People were swimming in the pool, using gym equipment and watching TV in the former President’s bed while saying they would not leave the palace until he resigned.
One protestor told The Guardian that he travelled over six hours to storm the palace.
“I came because there’s something terribly wrong happening here.
“I saw at the president’s house how he enjoyed his life using taxpayers’ money and he is hiding like a coward dog… the president has fled because he’s a thief.”
— Palki Sharma (@palkisu) July 9, 2022
The PM’s residence was also targeted by rioters who set it on fire, with three people arrested in relation to the arson.
Sri Lanka has been in the midst of its worst economic crisis in more than 60 years with fuel reserves at all time lows, essential items scarce and people struggling to make ends meet.
At one point they were considering selling the national airline for $3.4 billion but over $7 billion is needed to pay for their debt while $1.9 billion is needed to boost their reserves.