A video broadcast on Sri Lankan television showed protesters entering the President’s House – Rajapaksa’s office and residence in the commercial capital – after breaching security cordons set up by police.
Rajapaksa is missing and has been moved to another location, security officials told CNN. It is not yet clear how many security personnel are on site.
The South Asian nation of 22 million is experiencing the worst financial crisis in recent history, leaving millions of people struggling to buy food, medicine and fuel.
The curfew previously imposed on several police units in the Western Province of Sri Lanka was lifted on Saturday. Several politicians and the Sri Lanka Bar Association called the curfew “illegal”, saying there were no incidents of violence to justify the imposition of the measure.
In recent months, tens of thousands have taken to the streets calling for the country’s leaders to resign over accusations of economic mismanagement.
In several major cities, including Colombo, hundreds of people are forced to queue for hours for fuel, sometimes clashing with police and the military.
Schools were suspended and fuel was limited to essential services. Patients cannot travel to hospitals due to lack of fuel and soaring food prices.
Trains have become less frequent, forcing travelers to squeeze into compartments and even sit precariously when they commute to work.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the country has entered into talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to revive the country’s economy.
He told parliament this week that negotiations with the IMF were “difficult” because they entered the debate as a “bankrupt” country, not as a developing country.