Sri Lanka: PM Wickremesinghe seeks support of SJB's two MPs for non-partisan government

World Thursday 19/May/2022 07:42 AM
Sri Lanka: PM Wickremesinghe seeks support of SJB's two MPs for non-partisan government

Colombo: Sri Lanka newly appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday in a letter to the opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) parliamentarians Manusha Nanayakkara and Harin Fernando sought their support in the formation of non-partisan government.

Wickremesinghe sent this letter in response to the two MPs' letter where they said that would make a decision on supporting a future government according to the action taken on eight demands, including the action to be taken inside and outside Parliament, to make Gota Go Gama demand of all the people a reality, Colombo Page reported. Responding to each demand, the Prime Minister said that regarding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, further action should be taken in consultation with the party leaders in this regard and he also agrees with the decision of the majority.

The PM said he expects to create an executive that will limit the powers of the executive presidency and will also make them accountable to parliament through the speedy adoption of the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, reported Colombo Page.

Referring to the enforcement of the law over the attack on the peaceful protest site of 'Gota Go Gama, Wickremesinghe said that he had made a clear statement in parliament today.

"As I have stated, I strongly condemn this incident and fully support the police in enforcing the law as instructed by the Attorney General. Further, I requested the Inspector General of Police to inform the Hon. Speaker every two weeks regarding the progress of the investigations being carried out. Accordingly, the progress of the investigations can be reviewed in parliament."

Sri Lanka's Premier said that a special committee headed by Member of Parliament Wijayadasa Rajapaksha was appointed regarding the 21st Amendment to the Constitution and said he will take action to get that amendment passed as soon as possible.

Bringing those responsible for the Easter attack to justice, Wickremesinghe said an independent police investigation is underway into the allegations and if foreign expert assistance is required, steps will be taken to obtain that assistance as well.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in the Parliament on Wednesday said that the island country has received USD 160 million from the World Bank.

However, the money would not be used for fuel purchases, said Wickremesinghe, reported Colombo Page.

According to the Sri Lankan PM, the government has been engaging in discussions regarding the matter with the officials of the World Bank. The Sri Lankan government has even requested the World Bank to allow funds to be used for urgent fuel purchases. PM Wickremesinghe also explained that owing to bad weather conditions in Sri Lanka, the gas shipments need to be unloaded via lorries which will be responsible for the delay.

Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence with food and fuel shortages, soaring prices, and power cuts affecting a large number of the citizens, resulting in massive protests resulting in the resignation of former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.