Leaders of the Sri Lankan protests said yesterday that the two men would occupy the residence of the president and the prime minister until they finally resigned the day after they agreed to leave the country in a political crisis. ..
Thousands of protesters attacked President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s home, office and Prime Minister’s Office on Saturday, demonstrating that the catastrophic economic crisis could not be overcome.
Rajapaksa resigned on July 13, and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also resigned to allow the interim government of all parties to take over, according to the chairman of the parliament.
“The president has resigned, the prime minister has resigned, and the government has to resign,” playwright Rwancy de Tickella said at a press conference at Colombo’s main protest site.
She said the crowd would not move from the president’s and prime minister’s official residences until then, adjacent to other leaders helping to coordinate the movement against the government.
Yesterday I calmed down and returned to the city of Colombo, but all day long, curious Sri Lankans roamed the devastated presidential residence.
Members of the security forces, some with assault rifles, stood outside the premises but did not block people from entering.
“I’ve never seen a place like this in my life,” 61-year-old handkerchief seller BM Chandrawathi told Reuters when he took his daughter and grandson to try a luxurious sofa in the bedroom on the ground floor. rice field.
“They enjoyed super luxury while we were suffering. We were ridiculous. We wanted our children and grandchildren to see the luxury lifestyle they enjoy.”
Nearby, a group of young men relaxing in a four-poster bed and a treadmill set up in front of a large window overlooking a well-maintained lawn, other men quarreling in turn.
Political turmoil can complicate efforts to pull Sri Lanka away from the worst economic crisis of 70 years, caused by a serious shortage of foreign currencies that stagnated imports of necessities such as fuel, food and medicine.
The financial crisis broke out after the Covid-19 pandemic hit the tourism-dependent economy and cut remittances from foreign workers.
It was exacerbated by large and rising government debt, rising oil prices, and a seven-month ban on the import of fertilizers last year that devastated agriculture.
Gasoline rations are strict and there are long lines in front of stores selling cooking gas. The government requires people to work at home or in closed schools to save fuel.
Headline inflation in 22 million countries reached 54.6% last month, and central banks warned that it could rise to 70% in the coming months.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the government in power “to regain the outlook for long-term economic stability and identify and implement solutions to address the very strong and obvious dissatisfaction of the Sri Lankan people. Will need to be addressed promptly. ” “.
“We will call on the Sri Lankan parliament, not any political party, to work on this with a commitment to improving the country,” he said at a press conference in Bangkok.
India, Sri Lanka’s huge neighbor, which has provided about $ 3.8 billion in support during the crisis, said it was watching the event closely. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is discussing the possibility of a $ 3 billion bailout with the government, also said it is closely monitoring the event.
“We want to resolve the current situation that will allow us to resume dialogue on IMF-backed programs,” lenders around the world said in a statement.
It has been published
Rajapaksa hasn’t been seen in public because Friday didn’t say anything directly about his resignation.
Wickremesinghe’s office said he and Rajapaksa could not be contacted, but he would quit.
Parliamentary Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywaldena said on Saturday that the decision to resign Rajapaksa was made “to ensure a peaceful takeover of power.”
Constitutional experts say that if the president and prime minister resign, the next step is for the chair to be appointed acting president and Congress to vote for the new president within 30 days to complete Rajapaksa’s term. increase.
Frustration with the economic crisis arose on Saturday when a large number of protesters pushed armed guards into the colonial presidential residence and took over.
Some had the opportunity to play in the pool, with furniture and relics destroyed.
After that, I moved to the official residence of the president and the prime minister’s office.
Late at night, protesters set fire to Wickremesinghe’s private home. Neither Rajapaksa nor Wickremesinghe were in their dwellings when the building was attacked.
Approximately 45 people were injured in major hospitals on Saturday, but there were no other reports of deaths from peaceful acquisitions, hospital officials said.
http://www.gulf-times.com/story/720821/Lanka-protesters-vow-will-not-let-up-until-preside Sri Lankan protesters’ vows will not give up until the president and prime minister resign