US Accused Russia of Sri Lanka President Quit After Saturday Protest 

On Saturday, July 9, Sri Lankan President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, announced he would step down after thousands of protesters rushed his official residence. 

Picture: Izvestia

Thousands of protesters stormed Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s official residence as part of an anti-government demonstration calling for his resignation following the country’s economic collapse. Social unrest comes as the country has suffered runaway inflation and shortages of food and fuel after depleting foreign exchange reserves.

Demonstrators marched to Sri Lanka’s commercial capital of Colombo early Saturday. They jumped over security fences surrounding the residence and overran the president’s security forces. Rajapaksa was evacuated from the palace, according to his secretary Gamini Senarath. Rajapaksa has taken refuge in an undisclosed location, some have pointed out, possibly on a naval ship.

Lawmakers asked Rajapaksa to relinquish his power to allow a new leader with a parliament majority to regain control and find a swift resolution to high inflation and shortages that have angered people for months. Later on Saturday, Rajapaksa announced he would step down after thousands of protesters rushed his official residence.

The country’s Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has soon announced he will resign as well. During the unrest, he held emergency talks with party leaders before the parliament speaker  to decide what was next in resolving the worsening socio-economic crisis in the country.

Parliament Speaker, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, told the nation in a televised announcement on Saturday that Rajapaksa will resign Wednesday “to ensure a peaceful transition.” The Sri Lankan constitution says if Rajapaksa and Wickremesinghe both resign, the parliament speaker will assume power for one month.

Reasons for collapse

The country’s economy has collapsed badly as it lacks foreign exchange reserves to import essential items such as food and fuel. Shortages have materialized as the government began rationing goods last month.

The crisis has been attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic, which deprived the island nation of vital tourism revenue. An increase in government spending, tax cuts, and quantitative easing drove inflation upwards.

Even though the government has held talks with the IMF, India, China, and Japan for new credit lines and even spoke with Russia about purchasing heavily discounted crude, the country entered a terminal phase where social unrest is spiraling out of control.

US blames Sri Lankan crisis on Russia

US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, claimed on Sunday, July 10, that “Russian aggression” in Ukraine may have been partly to blame for the turmoil in Sri Lanka.

“We’re seeing the impact of this Russian aggression playing out everywhere. It may have contributed to the situation in Sri Lanka; we’re concerned about the implications around the world,” Blinken said.

He claimed that “growing food insecurity” around the world “has been significantly exacerbated by the Russian aggression against Ukraine.” He also added that, in Thailand, fertilizer prices have “gone sky-high” due to the alleged blockade of Ukraine’s ports.

Russia, meanwhile, denies all accusations of blocking food exports. Moscow says it has been offering safe passage to freighters, but Ukraine is preventing civilian ships from leaving ports, including Odessa. It also says Kiev’s placement of sea mines has created a threat to shipping in the area.

Earlier this month, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, said some countries are trying to use the food security issue “in the worst possible way” by accusing Moscow “of something it is not involved in” and by “whitewashing” Ukraine.

Ru-Main, 11.07.2022
Source: InfoWars 

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