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Sri Lankan acting president declares state of emergency, curfew

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Sri Lanka’s acting President, Ranil Wickremesinghe has declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew to control a fresh wave of protests in Colombo.

Wickremesinghe, in a recorded message broadcast on television on Wednesday, said that the directive was given after intelligence reports that protesters were storming parliament, the prime minister’s office, and the residences of service commanders.

His media secretary, Dinouk Colombage also confirmed the news of the curfew to Reuters.

He said, “The prime minister as acting president has declared a state of emergency (countrywide) and imposed a curfew in the western province.”

Wickremesinghe was sworn in as Sri Lanka’s acting President after Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country to the Maldives earlier in the day after protests.

Wickremesinghe, 73, had been serving as prime minister.

His statement came as over 3,000 people, most of them university students, continued protesting near the prime minister’s office with some of them storming the building.

However, a large number of troops had been deployed around the area and were trying to drive the protesters away by using tear gas.

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