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The State Of Emergency in Sri Lanka Explained

State of emergency in Sri Lanka
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A state of emergency in Sri Lanka is all everyone can talk about today. News of Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fleeing the country is just as viral as the state of emergency in Sri Lanka. In our last article about Sri Lanka, announcements of resignation and political crisis in Sri Lanka were explained (Read the full article here). In today’s article, we will know why emergency in Sri Lanka has been imposed, and also do a fact check on all the rumours floating around.

President Rajapaksa Flees Sri Lanka? – Fact Check

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in the late hours of 9 July 2022 announced that he would resign on 13 July 2022. However, sources confirmed that Rajapaksa fled the country for the Maldives sometime before he was supposed to resign.

An immigration official said that Rajapaksa left the country with his wife, and two bodyguards for security, in a Sri Lanka Air Force plane. The plane landed at Male, the Maldivian capital, as reported by a government official. The Sri Lanka Air Force later confirmed this news. To know why emergency in Sri Lanka was imposed, keep reading.

State Of Emergency In Sri Lanka

Public unrest had quietened after Rajapaksa’s promise of resignation on July 9, 2022. Even PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had announced that he would resign from his post after a new government acceptable to all parties had been formed. He announced in a voice statement –

“Today in this country we have a fuel crisis, a food shortage, we have the head of the World Food Program coming here and we have several matters to discuss with the IMF. Therefore, if this government leaves there should be another government.”

Also Read- Sri Lanka Economic Crisis Explained: Nation Collapsed

Following announcements of both resignation promises, public anger had reduced in anticipation of resignation at the earliest possible date. However, President Rajapaksa fled the country, appointing PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as Interim President. Constitutionally, the Interim President holds powers equal to the powers of the President and can head the country for a maximum period of 30 days.

State Of Emergency In Sri Lanka
State Of Emergency In Sri Lanka
State Of Emergency In Sri Lanka
State Of Emergency In Sri Lanka

PM Wickremesinghe has been closely associated with the Rajapaksa family, who has been ruling for nearly two decades now. Thus, this transfer of presidential powers angered the Sri Lankan public, and violent protests broke out across the whole country. The biggest protest was staged at 115 Fifth Lane, the residence of PM Wickremesinghe, which was burnt a few weeks ago, and Janadhipathi Mawatha, the residence of President Rajapaksa. Protests broke into the president’s house and took over it. Have a look at a few images from inside the president’s residence:

To quell the revolts, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe took the extreme decision of imposing a nationwide state of emergency in Sri Lanka. He instructed the armed forces to do whatever it takes to bring the protests under control. To disperse the large crowd gathered at official residences, the police had to resort to using tear gas. News reports suggest that a man died of suffocation due to the gas released by the police.

The principal question to ask here is, why emergency in Sri Lanka was really imposed – to quell the revolts, or is the government afraid of a can of worms opening?

What’s Next?

Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana is likely to take over presidential duties until a new president is elected. The elections, which are scheduled for July 20, will see main opposition party Samagi Jana Balawegaya leader Sajith Premadasa contesting for the presidential post. Rumours of PM and Interim President Ranil Wickremesinghe officially running for president are also floating around; however, the rumours have not been confirmed.

Rajapaksa is likely to get refuge from Singapore. He cannot come back to Sri Lanka as he has lost his presidential immunity to arrest, and now can be arrested for the various charges of fund mismanagement and corruption pressed on him. Wickremesinghe is also not able to garner much support and is unlikely to come into power officially.


In this article, we covered the state of emergency in Sri Lanka and why emergency in Sri Lanka was imposed. The political and economic status of Sri Lanka is difficult to predict. There are no certainties as to the future rulers of the country.

One thing that is certain is that the new rulers will have to spend a lot of time-solving the mess left behind by the previous government. That is why the Sri Lankans are demanding a strong leader; one that can lead the country to become ‘Swarna Lanka’, or Lanka of gold once more. Keep following Trending Reader for the latest updates on Sri Lanka news.

For more related information, visit Current Affairs – Trending Reader

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