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SL PM imposes state of emergency

Despite the PM's order to the security forces to arrest people who were acting in a riotous manner, the protests continued.

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Colombo: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday ordered to impose curfew in the Western Province and also emergency law across the country with immediate effect.

The order was issued after the police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse at least 1500 people who were protesting near the Prime Minister’s office on Flower Road, Colombo 07 on Wednesday morning demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Wickremesinghe.

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Despite the PM’s order to the security forces to arrest people who were acting in a riotous manner, the protests continued.

These protests were held after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who had promised to submit his resignation on Wednesday, fled the country in the wee hours to the Maldives.

The Sri Lankan Air Force had confirmed that it had provided an early morning Air Force flight for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his wife along with two security guards at the Katunayake International Airport to leave for the Maldives.

The President had signed his resignation letter and the Speaker of the Parliament was due to announce it on Wednesday.

On Monday, Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) filed a motion in the Supreme Court to prevent the government leaders including former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa from fleeing the country.

This motion was filed pursuant to a Fundamental Rights petition filed by Sri Lankan swimmer and coach Julian Bolling, former Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chandra Jayaratne, Transparency International, and Jehan Canaga Retna seeking an order to take legal action against those responsible for financial irregularities and mismanagement of the Sri Lanka economy.

The petitioners pointed out that they have been reliably informed that some of the above respondents may leave the country and try to avoid giving information sought by the petitioners and prevent proper investigation.

The Supreme Court will be taking up the matter on July 14 along with the Fundamental Rights petition against persons responsible for the current economic crisis, Attorney-at-Law K. Upendra Gunasekara said.

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