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Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe declares state of emergency as protests continue

Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe declares state of emergency as protests continue

Sri Lanka's acting president Ranil Wickremesinghe has declared a state of emergency in the country, according to a government notice.

"It is expedient, so to do, in the interests of public security, the protection of public order, and the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community," the notification stated.

This comes after Wickremesinghe was on Friday sworn in as Sri Lanka's acting president after parliament accepted the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa who fled the country.

But Wickremesinghe is also disliked by protesters, which had caused fear of further turmoil if he was officially elected president this week.

Sri Lanka's parliament met on Saturday to begin the process of electing a new president, and a shipment of fuel arrived to provide some relief to the crisis-hit nation.

Rajapaksa, who fled to the Maldives on Wednesday and then landed in Singapore on Thursday, has formally resigned, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena confirmed early on Friday, capping off a chaotic 72-hours in the crisis-hit nation that saw protesters storm many iconic buildings, including the President and the Prime Minister's residences here.

Rajapaksa, 73, had emailed his resignation to Speaker Abeywardena who said that he accepted his resignation, which he received late on Thursday. Rajapaksa's departure from office marks a major victory for the anti-government protesters, who for months have demanded his removal. His resignation also ended the rule by a family that wielded power in the country for nearly 20 years.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) on Sunday reduced the diesel and petrol retail prices, the first decrease after five hikes since February as the severe foreign exchange shortage hampered the import of fuel and other essentials in the country reeling under worst economic crisis in decades.

The new prices came to effect from 10.00 pm on Sunday.

The diesel and petrol retail prices have been reduced by Rupees 20 each. Both had been raised by Rs 50 and 60 at the end of May.

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