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Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe Declares Emergency, Curfew Imposed in Western Province

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) further added that the Emergency had been declared, keeping Wickremesinghe’s powers as "acting President" in mind

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SRI LANKA: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has declared an island-wide Emergency and a curfew in the Western Province, his office announced on July 13.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) further added that the Emergency had been declared, keeping Wickremesinghe’s powers as “acting President” in mind. The decision comes at a crucial time when the island is swept by aggression and civil war-like instability, now that the degenerate ruler, former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has fled the country and is yet to resign.

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When questioned how Wickremesinghe could invoke the “powers of an acting President” when Gotabaya is still in office, PM’s spokesperson Dinouk Colombage told The Hindu: “The legal explanation will follow. We want to get the situation under control first.”

However, the Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa said in a tweet that “PM becomes acting President only if the President appoints him as such, or if the office of President is vacant, or if the CJ in consultation with the Speaker forms the view that the President is unable to act.” If any of these alternatives are absent, the “PM cannot exercise the powers of President, and cannot declare curfew or a state of emergency.”

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Earlier, the PM’s office was confronted with thousands of angry mobs, protesters and aggressors who had gathered outside the office, official residences and several other locations in the capital of Colombo on Wednesday morning.

Such developments surfaced hours after news spread that Gotabaya had fled the country amid the worst economic and political crisis in the island’s history, one that witnessed hordes of angry protestors taking over the President’s office and home last weekend and setting the PM’s residence on fire.

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