People protest inside the President’s House in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Saturday, July 9.

Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

People protest inside the President’s House in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Saturday, July 9.

Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

Protesters broke into the official residences of Sri Lanka’s president and prime minister on Saturday as people were demonstrating over the country’s worsening economic crisis.

It started with more than 100,000 people amassing outside the President’s House in Colombo, calling for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resign. Demonstrators were later seen inside the building, hanging banners from the balcony and swimming in the residence’s pool. Rajapaksa was not at the site and had been moved elsewhere, security officials told CNN.

Protesters then breached the official residence of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, according to local media reports. They also broke into his private residence. Live video streamed by local media and seen by CNN showed his private residence engulfed in flames as crowds gathered at the scene. Wickremesinghe was not there at the time it was breached; he had been moved earlier to a secure location, his office said.

Mahinda Yapa, Sri Lanka’s Speaker of Parliament, said Rajapaksa has informed him that he will resign on July 13, the speaker’s office announced late Saturday. Wickremesinghe said he was also willing to resign and make way for an all-party government to take over.

Sri Lanka is suffering its worst financial crisis in recent history, leaving millions struggling to buy food, medicine and fuel. Tens of thousands have taken to the streets in recent months, calling for the country’s leaders to resign over accusations of economic mismanagement.

Quoted from Various Sources

Published for: Mr Blow Up