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Sri Lankan PM Says He Will Not Resign -By ASC

Sri Lanka’s Economic Crisis: Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence.

Colombo:

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had not asked him to resign and claimed they were on the “same page” to resolve the worst economic crisis, amid reports of rifts between the two brothers in running the country a debt -ridden island.

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s assertion was made on a day when Sri Lankan media reported that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had written to leaders of political parties affiliated with the government that they could meet on Friday and discuss the All -Party Government that could be formed after the Prime Minister. The Minister and the Cabinet resigned.

In his letter, the President stated that he had taken into account the requests made by the country’s top Buddhist leaders, religious leaders, as well as those from political parties and public organizations.

Sri Lanka is currently being hit by an unprecedented economic downturn since its independence from Britain in 1948. The crisis is partly due to a shortage of foreign currency, which means the country cannot afford to pay for staple food imports and fuel. , leading to severe shortages and very high prices.

Earlier this month, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had to drop his brother Chamal and his eldest nephew Namal from the Cabinet in response to ongoing protests demanding accountability from powerful ruling families and their inability to deal with the worst forex crisis facing the country. .

In the second week of April, the Sri Lankan government said it would temporarily default on its foreign debt of USD 35.5 billion. The finance ministry said the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine caused it to be unable to pay its creditors.

Now the besieged president is also under increasing pressure to form an interim government.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said he would hand over the government to any group that could amass 113 seats in the 225-member Parliament but would not step down from the presidency.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa also last week insisted that he should not resign or allow the formation of a caretaker government without his leadership.

In an interview with the Daily Mirror, the 76 -year -old prime minister, who now faces one of the toughest challenges in his political career, dismissed reports of a rift between him and Gotabaya Rajapaksa, 72.

“This is all fake. Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the President. So I must always respect him as President. He may be my brother, but that’s a different matter. That is a personal relationship. But he is the President and I respect him. For that,” Mahinda Rajapaksa said.

“Like everyone else we are arguing, even in the cabinet we are arguing. But our argument stops there. He is the President and I am the Prime Minister and we are in the same direction. If there is a quarrel between us it cannot be continued. To serve as President and Prime Minister. It is not good for the country, “he said.

“So there is no such thing as you say in your question. We can sit together and discuss all current issues and reach an agreement on how to move forward,” the prime minister stressed.

Speaking at a meeting with Sri Lankan local government member Podujana Peramuna amid growing demand for his and her resignation from anti-government protesters, Mahinda Rajapaksa said, “Anyone can make allegations, but the allegations need to be proven. We are not can turn its back on the Constitution and go, by simply allowing the country to be in a state of anarchy. ” “The president has never asked me to resign and I do not believe he will ask me to do so,” he said at the meeting.

Mahinda Rajapaksa also urged the people to be patient by stating that it was impractical for him and the President to resign as they had been elected through a mandate.

He stressed that only a handful of people protested against the government.

“There are some groups in this division that are always against us. They are the ones who ask us to go,” “But it’s not practical. We go in through mandates. Just because certain people want us to go. Go doesn’t mean we’re going to go. We get mandates and if people want to change us, they can do it through elections, ”the prime minister said, hinting he would not resign before Friday’s meeting to form an all-party government as proposed by the president.

Mahinda Rajapaksa claims that the people will vote for him in the next election, because they know “who I am and what I am.” “I have that confidence. Look, the people don’t object to me. Just because a certain section calls me to go, doesn’t mean hundreds of thousands who voted for us, want us to go. These protesters alone don’t represent the entire population even though their views are respected,” he said. he said.

“We are here because the people want us. On the day the people want us to go, we will go. In 2015, we lost the election. And then in 2019 we came back. So the majority is with us,” the prime minister stressed.

Answering a question on the President’s performance, he said, “I personally feel Gotabaya Rajapaksa has performed well and done a great job. It is true we face issues today, but we are also working hard to restore normalcy as soon as possible. “

(This story has not been edited by AGRASMARTCITY staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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