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Colombo: The Sri Lankan government said on Wednesday that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa would not resign under any circumstances and would face the current issues, as it defended the troubled leader’s decision to impose a state of emergency, which was later met with massive public protests. It was canceled after there were demands for his resignation. On the biggest economic crisis of the country.

 

Speaking in parliament, Chief Government Whip Minister Johnson Fernando said the government would face the problem and there was no reason for the president to resign because he was elected to office.

 

Claiming that the opposition Janata Vimukti Peramunavas (JVP) party was behind the violence in the country, Fernando said this “thug politics” should not be allowed and called upon the people to end the violence.

 

He said that the government would continue to work to address the problems currently being faced by the public, the Colombo page portal reported.

The government also defended the president’s decision to impose a state of emergency, which gave him broad powers to act in the interests of public safety and preserve public order, including suspending any law authorizing detention. and confiscation of property, it said was declared after efforts. Designed to attack the presidential office and other public property.

Rajapaksa declared a state of emergency last week after protesters demonstrated near his home in Colombo. The protest initially began over a shortage of essentials such as cooking gas, petrol, electricity and milk powder, but has now spread across the island nation with protesters demanding the resignation of Rajapaksa and his government.

The president revoked the state of emergency late Tuesday night after massive public protests demanding his resignation.

The president and his older brother, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, hold power in Sri Lanka, despite the politically powerful family being the center of public anger.

There was a verbal spat between the ruling party and the opposition members in Parliament on Tuesday when they debated over the current crisis in Sri Lanka.

The heated situation in Parliament forced Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abhaywardene to adjourn the meetings twice.

The main opposition party Samagi Jan Balvegaya (SJB) also took placards in Parliament during the debate.

The opposition questioned the state of emergency imposed and subsequently raised by the President and also insisted that the President step down.

Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights Office said on Tuesday it was closely monitoring developments in Sri Lanka and urged officials to engage in meaningful dialogue with political parties and civil society to find a solution to the deepening economic crisis. , Colombo Page reported.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spokeswoman Liz Throsel said there have been large-scale peaceful protests across the country in recent months and the situation has worsened over the past two weeks amid sudden shortages in fuel, cooking gas and some. essential foods, as well as power cuts.

The spokesman said the Human Rights Office is concerned about measures taken by the government to declare a state of emergency, curfew and internet restrictions and police violence against protesters.

We are concerned that such measures are intended to prevent or discourage people from legitimately expressing their grievances through peaceful protest, and that they thwart the exchange of views on matters of public interest, he said.

After demonstrations outside the presidential residence on 31 March, the government declared a state of emergency on 1 April and announced the closure of social media networks for about 15 hours on 3 April.

There were also reports of excessive and unjustified police violence against protesters.

We remind the Sri Lankan authorities that measures relating to the state of emergency must comply with international human rights law, be limited to and proportionate to the extent strictly necessary for the situation, and must be used to suppress dissent or peaceful protest. should not be used to obstruct. ,” the United Nations Human Rights Office said.

Economists have warned that the country will plunge into more serious economic and political crises by the end of May.

Professor Janak Kumarasinghe said, we have been affected by two crises, economic and political.

He said that both the crises require immediate solutions to prevent further calamities.

President Rajapaksa is still struggling to appoint a cabinet as no political party responded positively to his proposal to form a unity government to deal with the crisis.

He appointed just four ministers and one of them, the new finance minister, resigned from the job in less than 24 hours.

The finance ministry is without a minister and its top bureaucrat and with the resignation of the incumbent SR Attigale.

The foreign exchange crisis had also affected the Foreign Service. The foreign ministry said it was closing the consulate in Sydney and the Sri Lankan missions in Oslo and Baghdad.

After the 2019 Sri Lankan elections, the Rajapaksa family kept several departments in the government under their control.

While President Rajapaksa has the almighty acting president, his elder brother Mahinda, a former president, is the current prime minister. Tulsi held the finance portfolio and Mahinda’s son Namal, who was the successor, was the youth and sports minister.

India recently announced a line of credit of USD 1 billion to Sri Lanka as part of its financial assistance to the country to tide over the post-last USD economic crisis.

500 billion lines of credit in February to help buy petroleum products.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar during his recent visit to Colombo had assured India’s continued support in Sri Lanka’s economic recovery process.

President Rajapaksa defended his government’s actions, saying the foreign exchange crisis was not his and the economic slowdown was largely driven by the island nation’s tourism revenue and inward remittances.

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