Sri Lanka’s prime minister announced his resignation Saturday as thousands of protestors descended on the country’s capital, storming through police barricades and invading the presidential palace.

Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is also the country’s finance minister, took to Twitter to say that he was stepping aside to make way for an all-party government to take over the country in the wake of the protests over rampant inflation and fuel and food shortages.

“To ensure the continuation of the Government including the safety of all citizens I accept the best recommendation of the Party Leaders today, to make way for an All-Party Government,” he tweeted. “To facilitate this I will resign as Prime Minister.”

Sri Lanka's prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe announced he will step down amid civil unrest.
Sri Lanka’s prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe announced he will step down amid civil unrest.
AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena

Earlier in the day, thousands of protestors broke through police barriers and stormed the official residence of president Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the commercial capital of Colombo. Viral video footage showed protestors wandering through the residence and swimming in the pool.

Rajapaksa, who has not resigned, was removed by security forces and is in a safe location, according to reports.

Police use tear gas to disperse demonstrators near President's residence during a protest demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa , amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, July 9, 2022.
Protesters in Sri Lanka have grown outraged over the country’s lingering food and fuel shortages.
REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
Sri Lanka's new prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe gestures during an interview with The Associated Press in Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 11, 2022.
Sri Lanka’s prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe hopes his resignation paves the way for “an All-Party Government.”
AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena, File
A man picks up a tear gas canister to throw it away after police fired it to disperse the protesters in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday, July 9, 2022.
Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled from his residence in Colombo, Sri Lanka after protesters invaded the building.
AP Photo/Amitha Thennakoon
Demonstrators celebrate after storming through the presidential palace of Sri Lanka president Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Colombo, Sri Lanka on July 9, 2022.
Demonstrators celebrate after storming through the presidential palace of Sri Lanka president Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Colombo, Sri Lanka on July 9, 2022.
REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
A man throws back a tear gas canister after it was fired by police to disperse protesters in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday, July 9, 2022.
A man throws a tear gas canister at police during a riot in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
AP Photo/Amitha Thennakoon

The island of 22 million is suffering through its worst economic crisis in decades, with shortages of fuel, food and medicine. Protests have been building since March throughout the country.



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