A look at the top updates on protests in Sri Lanka:
- A day after Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country and announced his resignation, the country’s Supreme Court on Friday barred his brothers – former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa – from leaving the island nation, NDTV reported. Mahinda Rajapaksa had resigned from his position on May 9 after a week of violent clashes between government supporters and protestors demanding his resignation.
- The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, the country’s ruling party, has said that it will support interim president Ranil Wickremesinghe in the parliamentary vote next week to elect the successor to Gotabaya Rajapaksa, PTI reported. The party’s support for Wickremesinghe, who was once its arch-rival, comes despite one of its MP Dullas Alahapperuma’s declaration to run for the top post.
- Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that India is doing everything possible to help Sri Lanka in the ongoing political and economic crisis. “We all are aware of the difficult circumstances Sri Lanka is going through today,” Singh said, according to ANI. “Although India has also been affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukrainian conflict, we are trying to help our friend Sri Lanka as much as possible.”
- Wickremesinghe, who took oath as the acting president of Sri Lanka on Friday morning, said he would follow the constitutional process and establish law and order in the country, according to Al Jazeera. “I am bound to protect the constitution,” he said. “I will never allow anything unconstitutional to take place in our country. I am not working outside the constitution. If law and order breaks down, it will affect our economy.
- Sri Lanka’s ambassador to China, Palitha Kohana, has said that Colombo is negotiating with Beijing for as much as $4 billion (about Rs 31.9 crore) in aid, according to Bloomberg. He said he is confident that China will agree at some point.