Sri Lankans occupy Prime Minister's office

STORY: The prime minister's office is a whitewashed colonial-era building, with an ornate wooden staircase connecting its two floors, and a lawn outside. The site was jammed with protesters, who had battled with the security forces for some three hours and finally broke through the compound's large black gates around 2 p.m (0830GMT).

Hundreds of people were demanding the resignation of the prime minister as well.

Rajapaksa was expected to next head to Singapore. His decision on Wednesday to make his ally Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe the acting president triggered more protests, with demonstrators storming the premier's office demanding that he quit, too.

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