Sri Lanka’s former president claims he “took all necessary precautions” to avert a crisis

Sri Lanka’s former president claims he “took all necessary precautions” to avert a crisis

Sri Lanka’s former president claims he “took all necessary precautions” to avert a crisis

Sri Lanka’s former president claims

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  • Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the president of Sri Lanka was overthrown this week after a popular movement against his administration
  • He claims to have taken “all conceivable precautions” to prevent the economic disaster that has gripped the island nation..
  • Until then, the Rajapaksas’ ally and six-time prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is the only member of his party in parliament
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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.

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.

Rajapaksa said in his letter that the COVID-19 pandemic, which significantly decreased Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals and remittances from foreign employees, and years of economic mismanagement that occurred before his presidency were the main causes of the country’s current financial difficulties.

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.”

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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 Rajapaksas’ 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.

On the approach road to parliament on Saturday, about 100 police and security officers were stationed with assault rifles, manning barricades and a water cannon to quell any protests. Although there were no indications of any demonstrators, columns of security personnel patrolled another approach road to the parliament.

Before erupting in full force on July 9, street demonstrations over Sri Lanka’s economic collapse had been simmering for months. Protesters blamed the Rajapaksa family and their allies for rampant inflation, shortages of essential items, and corruption.

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Days-long fuel lines have become the norm in the 22 million-person island nation, while headline inflation this month surpassed 54.6 percent and foreign exchange reserves are nearly vanished.

Kanchana Wijesekera, the energy minister, reported that Sri Lanka received the first of three petroleum shipments on Saturday. These are the country’s first exports in around three weeks. On Saturday, a second shipment of diesel will also arrive, and a shipment of gasoline will follow on Tuesday.

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