What’s Happening in Sri Lanka? What to Know About the Protests and Economic Crisis

Sri Lanka’s sovereign-debt crisis has crippled its economy and sparked months of political turmoil and public unrest. With its foreign reserves drained to near zero, the South Asian nation fell into default in May and has struggled to secure essential imports such as fuel and medicines.

Monthslong antigovernment demonstrations took a dramatic turn on July 9, when police were unable to hold back large crowds of protesters who stormed and occupied the official residences of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Protesters also set fire to Mr. Wickremesinghe’s private home. Both leaders said they will resign, making way for an all-party government that will be tasked with restoring order to the economy, negotiating a debt restructure with creditors and progressing talks with the International Monetary Fund for financial relief.

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