Sri Lanka (MNN) — President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has fled Sri Lanka in a military jet. He first landed in the Maldives, but it’s unclear what his final destination might be. Protestors in the Capital, Colombo, stormed his residence and demanded he step down.
Rajapaksa likely wants to avoid being prosecuted by a new administration. Sri Lankans blame him for the worst economic crisis in decades.
Greg Yoder with Christian World Outreach says, “People are kind of waiting to see what’s going to happen. Now that the President’s left, will change come? From what I understand, the protestors didn’t leave the places they raided. They stayed there until he did leave or resign. It was kind of an empty promise until he did it.”
What comes next?
Rajapaksa’s flight leaves Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the acting president. However, Wickremesinghe has previously promised to resign as well.
Following Rajapaksa’s departure, Wickremesinghe declared a State of Emergency and a curfew. He later canceled them as protestors stormed his office. After that, he told the military to “do whatever is necessary to restore order.”
The UN Human Rights Office has called for a peaceful transition of power in Sri Lanka.
Out in the villages, where CWO serves widows and orphans, things remain quiet. Extreme gas shortages make it tough to travel. “Bavon, our leader there, can’t travel to the village and see people face to face and do ministry that way.”
Pray CWO staff can represent Jesus well as they share food with neighbors. Yoder says, “They are just trying to be helpful and share Christ’s love. And that opens the door to sharing the Gospel. That’s what we’re praying for. Pray for peace, that things will stay calm.”
“Pray change will come that will help people be able to survive.”
The Header photo shows Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, in the evening. (Photo courtesy of dronepicr, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)