A demonstrator throws back a tear gas grenade towards police members as police use tear gas and water cannons to disperse demonstrators during a protest demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, amid the country’s economic crisis.REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

  • Thousands of protesters in Sri Lanka’s commercial capital of Colombo have stormed the presidential residence.

  • President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was moved for his own safety.

  • Sri Lanka was declared “bankrupt” on Tuesday.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has offered his resignation after thousands of protesters in the commercial capital of Colombo storm the presidential residence, Reuters reports.

The angry crowds have also forced President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to flee his residence, as ministry sources told Reuters that the head of state had been moved over fears for his safety.

 

On Saturday, protesters stormed his residence chanting for him to resign.

Videos show them flooding the city and even swimming in his pool.

 

Demonstrators protest inside the President's House, after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled, amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in this screengrab obtained from social media video on July 9, 2022.

Demonstrators protest inside the President’s House, after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled, amid the country’s economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in this screengrab obtained from social media video on July 9, 2022.News Cutter via REUTERS

Videos from local TV news NewsFirst channel show protesters breaking into the grounds of the colonial-era president’s residence.

 

The local news site also stated that military personnel have joined the civilian protesters in Sri Lanka’s biggest city.

 

The protests are an attempt to force the President to resign amidst a dire economic crisis.

Wickremesinghe declared the country of 22 million people “bankrupt” on Tuesday.

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Experts blame political mismanagement and rising debts to China as the reason behind the crash.

Flights out of the country are set to be halted as the state runs out of fuel. 

Sri Lankans have recently had to wait for days in order to get fuel, whilst basic foodstuffs have doubled in price.

Inflation in the South Asian country has reached 54.6%. 

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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