Soon after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe took over as the Acting-President, ordered the security forces to arrest people acting in a riotous manner and to seize their vehicles after ordering to impose curfew in the island nation.
Sri Lankan Police also fired tear gas against protesters near PM’s office on the protesters.
“The prime minister as acting president has declared a state of emergency (countrywide) and imposed a curfew in the western province,” Wickremesinghe’s media secretary, Dinouk Colombage, told news agency Reuters.
Besides, the Sri Lankan Police used tear gas to disperse a group of protesters near the Prime Minister’s Office at Flower Road in state capital Colombo.
Though as per BBC reports, protests so far on Wednesday around the state capital had been largely peaceful, with demonstrators chanting and giving speeches.
The crowd chanted a popular phrase ‘Aragalayata Jayawewa’, or “Victory to the struggle” in Sinhalese — which is commonly used at protests — can be heard in the air, while some wave flags high in the air.
Others are listening to fiery speeches by fellow citizens who are flanked onstage by posters that say “Go home Gota”, referring to ousted Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, BBC reported.
In recent days, protesters have occupied several government buildings demanding their top leaders step down. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, his wife and two bodyguards left aboard a Sri Lankan Air Force plane bound for the city of Male, the capital of the Maldives.
President Rajapaksa has fled Sri Lanka on a military jet, amid mass protests over its economic crisis.
The country’s air force confirmed the 73-year-old flew to the Maldives with his wife and two security officials and arrived in the capital Male at around 3 a.m. on Wednesday, the day he was scheduled to tender his resignation.
Rajapaksa’s departure ends a family dynasty that has ruled Sri Lanka for decades.
The President had been in hiding after crowds stormed his residence on Saturday, and had pledged to resign on July 13.
(With inputs from Agencies)