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Sri Lankans take to the streets to celebrate the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa #VentWithKb

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Exciting music, dance and fun were seen in the streets of Colombo on Thursday evening as the people of Sri Lanka celebrated President Gotabaya Rajapaksa resignshours after he fled to Singapore following mass protests over the recession.

Protesters defied a citywide curfew and set off firecrackers, chanted slogans and danced ecstatically at the Gota Go Gama protest site, mockingly named after Rajapaksa. Others said into the microphone that they wanted better governance.

Protest organizers handed over the presidential and prime minister’s residences, which they attacked last week and since the occupation, to the government on Thursday night following news of Rajapaksa’s resignation.

After stole the Maldives in the middle of the night on Tuesday and subsequently refused to resign, Rajapaksa finally submitted his resignation by email late on Thursday. A spokesperson for the speaker said it will be official on Friday, once the document has been legally verified.

However, the island nation’s woes are far from over. Rajapaksa’s decision on Wednesday to leave his ally Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as powerful president sparked more protests, with protesters storming parliament and the prime minister’s office demanding that he too resignation.

READ | Protesters say they want everything taken from us back as the crisis in Sri Lanka deepens

Protesters have blamed Rajapaksa and his allies for the economic disaster that has caused widespread shortages of food, fuel and other necessities. Sri Lanka has begun preliminary discussions with the International Monetary Fund about a potential bailout loan, but these discussions have been interrupted by the latest political turmoil.

With Gotabaya stepping aside after a prominent struggle, the Sri Lankan parliament speaker will convene the legislature and its 225 members will vote to elect a new president on July 20. Here’s see who is in the race to be the next Sri Lankan president.

Ranil Wickremesinghe

Ranil Wickremesinghe, who took office as prime minister for the sixth time in May and has been appointed acting president, is one of those aspiring to land the top job.

Although Wickremesinghe’s party holds only one seat in parliament, parts of Sri Lanka’s ruling Sri Lankan Podujana Peramuna party (SLPP), including the president’s brother Basil Rajapaksa, are backing him, Reuters reports. cite sources.

ALSO READ | Stuck in a political deadlock, here are 3 possible scenarios for Sri Lanka

Sajith Premadasa

As the leader of the main opposition party Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), Sajith Premadasa is another contender in the fight. But with only about 50 lawmakers in parliament, he will need to build bipartisan support to stand a chance.

Earlier this week, the SJB parliamentary group voted to nominate Sajith Premadasa for the presidency because “he deeply understands the suffering of the people and has always supported their calls for change,” a senior member of the group said. party said.

ALSO READ | Invited to lead the next Sri Lanka, Sajith Premadasa thanks Prime Minister Modi for financial support amid crisis

Dullas Low Oxygen Waste

The third frontrunner and potential black horse is Dullas Alahapperuma, a senior lawmaker from the SLPP who has attracted the attention of a section of his party colleagues.

The ruling party has about 117 votes that can be used to choose a candidate like the 63-year-old former journalist and send him across the line, SLPP lawmaker Charitha Herath said.

Alahapperuma, who entered parliament in 1994, served as minister of mass communications and cabinet spokesman but resigned in April when President Rajapaksa dissolved the cabinet after protesters surrounded his residence. .

(With input from AP, Reuters)

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I am passionate about journalism and using new technology to spread news. I am also interested in politics and economics, and I am always looking for ways to make a difference in the world. I am the CEO of Janaseva News, and I am 24 years old.

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