Hundreds of armed troops have raided a protest camp outside the president's office in Colombo, drawing condemnation from international human rights groups.
The six-time prime minister was chosen by a secret ballot of lawmakers a day ago to finish the term of former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled the country after protesters stormed his residence last week.
The 225-seat parliament will vote to choose new leader, who will have to address country's economic and political collapse amid protests, with Ranil Wickremesinghe seen as frontrunner.
Three candidates have been nominated to replace former Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled the country and resigned last week over the island's worsening economic crisis.
Ranil Wickremesinghe declares a state of emergency, according to a government notice, as the South Asian country's economic crisis continues.
Ex-president Gotabaya Rajapaksa's mismanagement is blamed for the country's financial turmoil, which has forced its 22 million people to endure shortages of food, fuel and medicines.
In his resignation letter to parliament, Gotabaya Rajapaksa says he did his "utmost" to avoid an economic catastrophe in Sri Lanka, but the coronavirus pandemic derailed his efforts.
After ex-president Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled Sri Lanka and PM Wickremesinghe became acting president, many protesters insisted that Wickremesinghe too should step aside.
Ranil Wickremesinghe says he will initiate steps to change the constitution to curb presidential powers and strengthen parliament and take legal action against “insurgents.”
Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeyweardana said that the Parliament will convene on Saturday to start the process of electing a new president.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa, 73, fled Sri Lanka after protesters demonstrating against the country's worst-ever economic crisis overran his palace on the weekend.
Resignation letter of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who has repeatedly assured he will step down amid massive protests, has not arrived yet, officials say as Sri Lankans woke up to confusion and calm in the capital Colombo.
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