Sri Lanka declared a state of emergency on Wednesday hours after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled to the Maldives, thousands of angry protesters took over the streets, marching toward Parliament and the Prime Minister’s house.
Sri Lankan troops have moved troops to subdue protests. Demonstrations are taking place in front of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s office on Flower Road in Colombo. Protesters do not want Ranil to become president, so they are demanding that both go. Guards threw tear gas grenades to calm the protest. Ranil was appointed Prime Minister by Gotabaya Rajapaksa earlier this year after his younger brother Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned from a request from protesters accusing the Rajapaksa clan of leading to a financial crisis. Protesters argue that according to the Sri Lankan Constitution, if the president resigns, the Prime Minister will be promoted to acting president. However, the prospect that Rajapaksa’ close companion, Wickremesinghe, would be appointed to this role offended the Sri Lankans.
A total of four protesters were injured in a tear gas grenade in a clash at Galle Face Green’s Gota GoGama protest site.