Sri Lankan Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resign on July 13

Colombo: Sri Lanka's embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa would resign on July 13, Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said on Saturday night.

President Rajapaksa informed the speaker about this decision after Abeywardena wrote to him asking for his resignation following the all-party leaders meeting held Saturday evening.

Abeywardena wrote to Rajapaksa on the decisions made at the meeting.

The party leaders had demanded the immediate resignation of Rajapaksa and his Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to make way for Abeywardena to become acting president until parliament appointed a successor.

Wickremesinghe has already expressed his willingness to resign.

Rajapaksa responded to his letter, saying he would quit on July 13.

His whereabouts was not known after he was moved out of his residence on Friday ahead of Saturday's protests during which thousands of irate anti-government protesters stormed into his official residence in Colombo.

Rajapaksa, who was facing calls for resignation since March, was using the President's House as his residence and office since protesters came to occupy the entrance to his office early April.

Sri Lanka, a country of 22 million people, is under the grip of an unprecedented economic turmoil, the worst in seven decades, crippled by an acute shortage of foreign exchange that has left it struggling to pay for essential imports of fuel, and other essentials. PTI

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