Asia

Prime Minister of Sri Lanka takes office as acting president

Requested Chinese help:
The country’s financial situation remained volatile as Colombo demanded a US $ 1 billion loan from Beijing yesterday for debt restructuring.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe swore yesterday as interim president of the country until Congress elected a successor to former Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who resigned after a massive protest against the country’s economic collapse resigned him. ..

Sri Lankan Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana said Rajapaksa will resign as president on Thursday and parliamentarians will be convened today to select new leaders.

Their choice would help the rest of Rajapaksa’s term ending in 2024, Abbey Wardana said, adding that he hopes the process will be completed in seven days.

Photo: EPA-EFE

The new president could potentially appoint a new prime minister, who must be approved by parliament.

With the end of Rajapaksa, the pressure on Wickremesinghe was increasing.

Opponents saw his May appointment as prime minister to ease pressure on Rajapaksa’s resignation. His temporary promotion came after Rajapaksa fled Sri Lanka on Wednesday.

Rajapaksa arrived in Singapore on Thursday.

Sri Lanka lacks the funds to pay for imports of basic necessities such as food, fertilizers, medicines and fuels, and 22 million people are desperate. Prior to this crisis, the economy was growing and growing with the comfortable middle class, so its rapid economic decline was even more shocking.

Protesters cooked and distributed rice pudding, a food traditionally eaten by Sri Lankans to celebrate their victory, after Rajapaksa’s resignation.

Protest continues

At a major protest site in front of Colombo’s presidential palace, people welcomed his resignation yesterday, but said Wickremesinghe should also leave.

“I’m pleased that Gotabaya has finally left. Bella Winata Pillai, 73, who retired from the bank, should have resigned earlier as the patriotic song echoed from the speakers.”

However, Pillai added that Wickremesinghe was “a supporter of Gotabaya and other Rajapaxus.” He was helping them. He also has to go. “

Protesters occupying government buildings withdrew on Thursday to regain the calm calm of the capital, but as political opposition in parliament collapsed, solutions to many of Sri Lanka’s predicaments are likely to be near. I couldn’t see it.

The country is seeking help from the IMF, but its finances have proved to be very poor and even difficult to get relief, Wickremesinghe said.

Sri Lanka’s ambassador to China said Colombo yesterday requested China to lend US $ 1 billion to repay the same amount of Chinese debt this year.

Additional report by Reuters

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https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2022/07/16/2003781860 Prime Minister of Sri Lanka takes office as acting president

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