Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, after protesters stormed his official residence and demanded his resignation.
The protests were sparked by Sri Lanka’s worst economic crisis in decades, which has left the country struggling to pay for essential imports, including food, medicine, and fuel. The crisis has led to widespread shortages and soaring prices, and many people have been forced to go without food and medicine.
Protesters had been demanding Rajapaksa’s resignation for weeks, and the demonstrations turned violent on Saturday, July 9, when protesters broke into the president’s official residence and set fire to the prime minister’s private residence.
Rajapaksa initially refused to resign, but he was forced to flee the country after the military withdrew its support for him. He flew to the Maldives, a neighboring island nation, and is reportedly seeking asylum in another country.
Rajapaksa’s resignation is a major victory for the protesters, but it is unclear what will happen next. The country is still facing a severe economic crisis, and it is not yet clear who will replace Rajapaksa as president.
The protests in Sri Lanka are a sign of the growing unrest in the country. The economic crisis has had a devastating impact on the lives of ordinary Sri Lankans, and many people are now demanding change. It remains to be seen whether the protests will lead to lasting change in Sri Lanka, but they have certainly shaken up the country’s political landscape.
Here are some of the key events that led up to Rajapaksa’s resignation:
- March 2022: Sri Lanka’s central bank announces that the country is effectively bankrupt.
- April 2022: Sri Lanka defaults on its foreign debt for the first time in its history.
- May 2022: The government begins rationing fuel and other essential goods.
- June 2022: Sri Lanka’s prime minister resigns amid growing public anger.
- July 9, 2022: Protesters storm the president’s official residence and set fire to the prime minister’s private residence.
- July 13, 2022: President Rajapaksa flees the country.
The protests in Sri Lanka are a reminder of the power of the people. When people are faced with economic hardship and political corruption, they will not hesitate to take to the streets to demand change.