Sri Lanka’s leader, who fled the country on Wednesday, appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as acting president “while the president is overseas,” the speaker of the country’s parliament said in a statement.
The announcement by Mahinda Yapa Abywardena, the speaker, is likely to further complicate a day of tension and uncertainty in the country.
It fell short of an official resignation by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, which the protesters had been expecting. And it promoted another leader whose resignation they have been demanding.
The leadership change is not likely to satisfy protesters who took to the streets again on Wednesday and surrounded the prime minister’s office. Police and military used tear gas to try to disperse them as the crowd grew at midday.