Sri Lanka accepts Rajapaksa's resignation

STORY: The speaker of Sri Lanka’s parliament formally accepted President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's resignation on Friday, a day after he fled to Singapore.

Paving the way for lawmakers to start repairing the island's shattered politics and resume efforts to ease the country's worst economic crisis in seven decades.

Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said with the resignation, the process would now start to appoint a new president.

A sense of calm has returned to the streets of the capital Colombo following protests which saw hundreds of thousands of people take over government buildings.

Demonstrators blame the Rajapaksa family and allies for runaway inflation, shortages of basic goods, and corruption.

Protesters say they welcome Rajapaksa’s resignation.

“We won everything and we are so happy today that he has resigned and we feel that when we, the people come together, we can do everything. We are the real power in this country."

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as interim president on Friday.

After the ceremony, he said he would take immediate steps to establish the rule of law and order in the South Asian country.

He also vowed to start the process of increasing parliament's powers and reducing the president's, as demanded by protesters.

However protesters also want Wickremesinghe gone.

His private residence was set ablaze by protesters last weekend and his office stormed this week.

Nevertheless, the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party on Friday nominated Wickremesinghe to take up the top job full time.

Sri Lanka’s parliament will now vote for a new president on July 20.

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