Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe’s private residence in Central Colombo has been set on fire by protesters demanding his government.
Angry protesters have set ablaze the private residence of Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on the 5th Lane in Central Colombo. Mobile video footage of the burning building is being gleefully shared on social media.
The footage also showed protesters damaging vehicles in the residential premises.
The Prime Minister’s office confirmed that protesters had broken into Wickremsinghe’s private residence and set it on fire.
Surely, Sri Lankans will not forget July 9th Protests in a hurry.
After presidential palace
Wickremesinghe’s house became a target after protesters breached security and forcibly entered the official residence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa hours earlier in the day. There has been no official news of the president’s whereabouts.
The protesters have been demanding Rajapaksa’s resignation for three months now and a protest under the banner of GotaGoGama at Colombo’s Galle Face have touched a new peak since Rajapaksa replaced his brother Mahenda Rajapaksa and appointed Ranil Wickremesinghe the country’s prime minister in his place.
Over the day today, Wickremesinghe has changed his stance a number of times – he announced that he would resign and then reverted only to again say that he was willing to resign. Later, after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was found missing in action, he said that somebody had to be in office – and it would be him.
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Wickremesinghe eventually resigned in the evening, setting in motion efforts to establish an all-party government after a meeting with lawmakers and ministers.
He tweeted: “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.”
Result of chauvinism
There is confusion and turmoil in Colombo, a source once close to Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party, or The Sri Lanka People’s Front said from the country’s cultural capital, Kandy.
He said that given the loss of credibility, no government or global financial institution was willing to come to Sri Lanka’s aid and all that the country has benefitted of has been the donation of aid agencies.
“This has hit the pride of Sri Lankans,” he said, adding that the loss of face means much to the ordinary person on the street.
“We Sri Lankans are very proud people and at times our pride borders on chauvinism – that got exaggerated during a bloody civil war and politics, particularly my party’s politics, revolved around stirring nationalistic feelings and that has got us into this situation,” he said, not wanting to be named.
“I am very worried,” he said.