Home » Sri Lanka crisis: PM offers to resign to make way for all-party government

Sri Lanka crisis: PM offers to resign to make way for all-party government

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oi-Prakash KL

| Updated: Sunday, July 10, 2022, 0:15 [IST]

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Colombo, July 9: Amid thousands of protesters breaking through police barricades and storming into President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's official residence, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has offered to resign to make way for an all-party government.

He took Twitter to announce his decision to step down as the Sri Lankan PM. "To ensure the continuation of the Government including the safety of all citizens I accept the best recommendation of the Party Leaders today, to make way for an All-Party Government," he tweeted.

Sri Lanka crisis: Sri Lankan PM offers to resign to make way for all-party government Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

The Prime Minister's Media Division said that he will step down after an all-party government is established and the majority is secured in Parliament. The 73-year-old politician will continue as Prime Minister until then, his office said.

PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said he has informed the President that an all-party government must be formed while stressing that there is a fuel crisis in the country, a food shortage and the World Food Program Director is due to arrive in the country.

"When this Government resigns, it is essential that another Government be ready to immediately assume duties to ensure stability. It must be ensured that economic recovery such as the IMF discussions are not hindered," the PMO said in a statement.

Wickremesinghe was appointed the Prime Minister after anti-government protests forced the resignation of then prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, the elder brother of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in May.

The Leader of the Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya Sajith Premadasa did not participate in the partly leaders' meeting as he is currently in a private hospital in Colombo due to a sudden illness.

It is said that the majority of the party leaders have requested in the meeting of the Committee on Parliamentary Affairs that the Speaker should become the Acting President and work to form an all-party government under his leadership.

It comes at a time when embattled Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's whereabouts were not known after he was moved out of his residence on Friday.

Rajapaksa, who was facing calls for resignation since March, was using the President's House as his residence and office since protesters came to occupy the entrance to his office early April. According to sources, the President had been moved out of his residence on Friday, in anticipation of Saturday's protests.

Reports have surfaced that luggage was rushed on to the Sri Lanka Navy Ship Gajabahu anchored at the Colombo Port, News 1st channel reported on Saturday.

"The Harbour Master at the Colombo Port said that a group boarded the SLNS Sindurala and SLNS Gajabahu and left the port," it added. He said he cannot provide details of the manifest or about those who boarded the vessels, the channel said.

At least 45 people, including seven security personnel, were injured in clashes between security forces and the protesters - some of them holding Sri Lankan flags and helmets - who had gathered in large numbers in the Fort area, demanding President Rajapaksa's resignation.

Sri Lanka, a country of 22 million, is under the grip of an unprecedented economic turmoil, the worst in seven decades, crippled by an acute shortage of foreign exchange that has left it struggling to pay for essential imports of fuel, and other essentials.

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