Sri Lanka protesters await president's resignation

STORY: Some protesters sat on steps of the Presidential Secretariat as rallying songs played from speakers at the protest site, and others slept under statues while waiting for updates on the situation.

The area around parliament was deserted on Thursday morning. Police manned a barricade on the approach road. Nearby, life returned to normal, with shops open and plenty of cars on the road.

Rajapaksa's decision on Wednesday (July 13) to make his ally Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe the acting president triggered more protests, with demonstrators storming parliament and the premier's office demanding that he quit too. Rajapaksa had repeatedly assured the speaker of parliament that he would step down on Wednesday, but his resignation letter had not arrived as of early Thursday, said an aide to Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena.

Police said one person was killed and 84 injured in clashes between riot police and protesters on Wednesday near the parliament building and the prime minister's office, as people demanded the ouster of both Rajapaksa and Wickremesinghe.

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