Ranil Wickremesinghe declares a state of emergency, according to a government notice, as the South Asian country's economic crisis continues.

Sri Lanka's protest movement has completed its 100 days, having forced one president from office and now turning its sights on his successor.
Sri Lanka's protest movement has completed its 100 days, having forced one president from office and now turning its sights on his successor. (AFP)

Sri Lanka's acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe has declared a state of emergency, according to a government notice, as his administration seeks to quell social unrest and tackle an economic crisis gripping the island nation. 

"It is expedient, so to do, in the interests of public security, the protection of public order and the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community," the notification stated early on Monday.

Sri Lanka’s ousted president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled overseas this week to escape a popular uprising against his government, has said he took "all possible steps" to avert the economic crisis that has engulfed the island nation.

Rajapaksa's resignation was accepted by parliament on Friday. 

He flew to the Maldives and then Singapore after hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters came out onto the streets of Colombo a week ago and occupied his official residence and offices.

Sri Lanka's parliament met on Saturday to begin the process of electing a new president, and a shipment of fuel arrived to provide some relief to the crisis-hit nation.

READ MORE: Sri Lanka protests reach 100 days as crisis continues

Search for new leader

The parliament is meeting on Tuesday to accept nominations for the post of the president. A vote to decide the country's leader is set to take place on Wednesday.

Wickremesinghe is one of the top contenders to take on the role full-time but protesters also want him gone, leading to the prospect of further unrest should he be elected.

The opposition's presidential nominee is Sajith Premadasa. 

The potential dark horse is senior ruling party lawmaker Dullas Alahapperuma.

READ MORE: Sri Lanka's ousted leader Rajapaksa defends crisis efforts

Source: TRTWorld and agencies