Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to step down

Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has agreed to step down next week, an official said, after protesters stormed the presidential palace and set fire to the prime minister’s home to vent their anger over a worsening economic crisis.
Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said in a televised statement on Saturday that Rajapaksa has agreed to resign on July 13.
“The decision to step down on July 13 was taken to ensure a peaceful handover of power,” Abeywardena said.
“I therefore request the public to respect the law and maintain peace.”
The news of president’s decision triggered an eruption of celebratory fireworks in parts of the capital, Colombo.

Al Jazeera’s Minelle Fernandez reports from Colombo, Sri Lanka.

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