Prevent The Economic Disaster
Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the president of Sri Lanka who was overthrown this week after a popular movement against his administration, claims to have taken “all conceivable precautions” to prevent the economic disaster that has gripped the island nation.
On Friday, the parliament approved Rajapaksa’s resignation. After hundreds of thousands of anti-government protestors took to the streets of Colombo a week ago and overtook his official mansion and offices, he took a flight to the Maldives before continuing on to Singapore.
Sri Lanka’s Parliament Convened
As a cargo of fuel came to bring some comfort to the crisis-hit country, Sri Lanka’s parliament convened on Saturday to start the process of electing a new president.
Rajapaksa’s resignation letter, the details of which had not yet been made public, was officially read out during the proceedings by Dhammika Dasanayake, the secretary general of Sri Lanka’s parliament.
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Sri Lanka’s Financial Woes
In his letter, Rajapaksa claimed that the Covid-19 outbreak, which significantly decreased tourist arrivals and remittances from foreign workers, as well as years of economic mismanagement that occurred before his presidency, were to blame for Sri Lanka’s financial woes.
In the letter, it was said that “it is my personal opinion that I took all appropriate measures to address this situation, including urging lawmakers to establish an all-party or unity government.”
Next Meeting Of Parliament
The next meeting of Parliament will be on Tuesday to accept presidential nominees. On Wednesday, a vote will be held to choose the nation’s president.
Until then, the Rajapaksa ally and six-time prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is the only member of his party in parliament, has been sworn in as acting president.
The choice of Wickremesinghe by the ruling party to run for president on Friday raises the possibility of additional upheaval should he win. Protesters want him to be removed as well.
Sajith Premadasa is the presidential candidate for the opposition, and Dullas Alahapperuma, a senior member of the ruling party, is considered a possible dark horse.