Home » Sri Lanka crisis deepens as two state broadcasters go off air

Sri Lanka crisis deepens as two state broadcasters go off air

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oi-Prakash KL

| Published: Wednesday, July 13, 2022, 15:23 [IST]

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Colombo, July 13: Sri Lanka's state-owned SLRC, known as Jathika Rupavahini, and ITN Channel on Wednesday went off air after protesters surrounded its premises.

Sri Lanka imposes state of emergency as President Rajapaksha flees | Oneindia News *News

Both the channels suspended its live telecasts, according to NewsWire. The protests intensified following the reports of embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointing Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the interim President of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka crisis deepens as two state broadcasters go off air Police use teargas as Sri Lankan protesters storm the compound of prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe 's office.PTI Photo

A state of emergency was declared as protesters came prepared to face tear gas shelling by security forces deployed outside Wickremesinghe's residence. Air patrolling also began around the PM's residence.

However, Sri Lankan opposition leader Sajith Premadasa said that the PM cannot exercise the powers of the President, and cannot declare a curfew or a state of emergency.

Sri Lanka crisis: Protestors storm PM Wickremesinghe's residence Sri Lanka crisis: Protestors storm PM Wickremesinghe's residence

"PM becomes acting President only if the President appoints him as such, or if the office of President is vacant, or if the CJ in consultation with the Speaker forms the view that the President is unable to act," Premadasa tweeted. "In the absence of any of these, the PM cannot exercise the powers of President, and cannot declare curfew or a state of emergency," he said in another tweet.

Rajapaksa with his wife along with two bodyguards fled the country to the Maldives on Wednesday. "Sri Lankan President, the first lady along with two bodyguards were subjected to full approval by Ministry of Defense for immigration, customs and other laws to fly to the Maldives. Air Force aircraft was provided to them in the early morning of July 13," Sri Lankan Air Force Media Director said in a statement.

Sri Lanka is under the grip of an unprecedented economic turmoil, the worst in seven decades, crippled by an acute shortage of foreign exchange that has left it struggling to pay for essential imports of fuel, and other essentials.

Story first published: Wednesday, July 13, 2022, 15:23 [IST]

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