“The Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) and Samagi Jana Bala Sandanaya (SJBS) are of the opinion that in finding a solution to the most serious economic and political crisis facing our motherland in history, solutions must be found according to the views and wishes of the people on the earth,” the letter reads.
Premadasa said that among the various demands, people in the crisis definitely wanted a regime without the Rajapaksas. The leader of the Opposition also recalled the meeting that took place with the Samagi Jana Balawegaya and said that they had discussions with all the political parties in the past few weeks to formulate an “all-party program” to overcome the serious challenges facing the country.
He also said that he kept the President informed about the same. Earlier, on Thursday, United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka amid the worst economic crisis faced by the country that has seen violent anti-government protests. Meanwhile, the anti-government protestors in Sri Lanka established a new protest site at the temple trees near the residence of the Prime Minister of the country to rally against the alleged political deal made between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and newly appointed Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Protests in Sri Lanka have continued virtually unabated even as Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on Monday, followed by the appointment of Ranil Wickremesinghe as the new Prime Minister of the economically devastated island nation on Thursday. 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 over the government’s handling of the situation.
The recession is attributed to foreign exchange shortages caused by a fall in tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as reckless economic policies including the government’s last year’s move to ban chemical fertilizers in a bid to make Sri Lanka’s agriculture “100 per cent organic”.
Due to an acute shortage of foreign exchange, Sri Lanka recently defaulted on the entirety of its foreign debt amounting to about USD 51 billion.
The economic situation led to huge protests with demands for the resignation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, with the former finally succumbing to public pressure and resigning on Monday, soon after the protests outside the Prime Minister’s residence turned violent.