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Sri Lanka: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa On The Run, His Residence Stormed By Protesters

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Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters stormed the residence of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Saturday, forcing him to flee before they arrived. The country, in the grip of a severe economic crisis, has been subject to major protests for months.

The official residence of the head of state was invaded on Saturday 9 July by demonstrators from all over the country demanding his resignation. For months, they have accused him of being responsible for the economic crisis that has rocked the country. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has called an emergency government meeting to discuss a “speedy resolution” to the crisis.

Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled his official residence in Colombo on Saturday, July 9, minutes before it was stormed by thousands of angry protesters. “The president has been escorted to safety,” said a defense ministry source. “He is still the president, he is protected by a military unit.”

Government officials said they were unaware of Mr. Rajapaksa’s intentions after his flight. “We are waiting for instructions,” a senior official said. “We still don’t know where he is, but we know he is with the Sri Lankan Navy and he is safe.”

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