Wickremesinghe forms panel to de-escalate tensions

Sri Lanka had to impose emergency rule because it received intelligence reports that attempts were on to take over the PM's office and air force chief's house, Prime Minister and Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe said in a televised address on Wednesday (Jul 13).

 

Speaking on a private TV channel - after protesters took control of the state broadcaster and prime minister's office - Wickremesinghe said he had formed a committee that includes the police and military chief to de-escalate the situation. He didn't say how long the emergency would stay.

 

He reiterated that parliament will choose a president on July 20. "We cannot tear up the Constitution," Wickremesinghe said, adding that some elements aided by politicians were trying to achieve their personal goals by stoking unrest. He didn't name anyone.

 

Protesters want Wickremesinghe to resign. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the bankrupt nation early Wednesday and is expected to resign soon. BLOOMBERG

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