In pictures: Sri Lanka unravels into political turmoil
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is set to step down after protesters stormed his official residence. Protesters also breached the prime minister's home and set it on fire as discontent with the government grew.
Sri Lanka spirals into political crisis
Sri Lanka's legislature has announced that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will step down next week after widespread protests calling for him to take responsibility for the nation's worst economic crisis in recent memory.
Protesters storm the President's House
The announcement of Rajapaksa's resignation came hours after tens of thousands of protesters had stormed his official residence. Rajapaksa was moved to a safer area, an official within his office said, while a top defense source told the AFP news agency, "The president was escorted to safety."
Beat the heat as tensions soar
As the country struggles to cope with an energy crisis, the protesters took some time to cool off at the pool inside the presidential palace. In a bid to appease protesters, the president had removed his close relatives from top government positions, including two of his brothers, Mahinda and Basil, who until recently served as the country's prime minister and finance minister, respectively.
Prime minister's private residence set on fire
Protesters also breached Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's private residence and set it on fire. In the aftermath, Wickremesinghe agreed to step down from his position, after summoning an emergency meeting of party leaders. He said he was willing to make way for an all-party government.
Tear gas used to subdue protesters
Sri Lanka's 22 million people have suffered months of surging inflation and lengthy power cuts after the government ran out of foreign currency to import essential goods.
Sri Lanka is 'bankrupt'
Sri Lanka is bankrupt and its unprecedented economic crisis is set to last until at least the end of next year, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said earlier this week. With debts of more than $50 billion (€48.5 billion) owed to foreign creditors, the country is fast running out of gasoline, medicine and food.
Residents forced to seek alternatives
As the country runs out of fuel, residents have been forced to turn to alternatives like firewood for cooking and bicycles for commuting. Several people say these are impractical alternatives, but the dire economic crisis has left them with no choice.
Worst economic crisis since independence
Sri Lanka is in the midst of its worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948. The country defaulted on its foreign debt in April. Wickremesinghe, who was appointed prime minister in May, has pledged to establish a relief program and a new economic plan which would allow him to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.