COLOMBO: Sri Lankan opposition leaders have asked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to resign before the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who promised to step down on Wednesday, according to a report. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP MA Sumanthiran said on Wednesday that the decision was taken in an all-party meeting attended by leaders excluding those in government, the 1st news channel.
He said two unanimous decisions were taken at the meeting, one asking Wickremesinghe to step down immediately, while the other asking the president to sack the prime minister before the president’s resignation takes effect, it was reported. chain.
Meanwhile, Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella of the Samagi Jana Balavegaya said the tri-army force commanders were also present at the meeting.
“The prime minister was avoiding party leaders,” he said.
Commanders informed that protesters were near the gates of parliament and wanted permission to push them back using force, he said.
“We said we could not accept such a request,” he said, adding that at the last meeting of party leaders the call was for the resignation of the president and the prime minister.
The leaders have asked the president to sack Wickremesinghe to serve as interim president, and subsequently parliament is ready to work with him.
President Rajapaksa fled to the Maldives on Wednesday from where he appointed Prime Minister Wickremesinghe as interim president, deepening the political crisis and sparking a new wave of protests in the country reeling from the worst financial crisis since decades.
President Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said President Rajapaksa informed him by phone that he would step down today as promised. He said the vote for the new president will take place on July 20.
Wickremesinghe, who is now interim president, declared a state of emergency in the country and a curfew in Western Province was imposed as protesters gathered near his office in Flower Road in Colombo .
Sri Lanka, a country of 22 million people, is in the grip of an unprecedented economic crisis, the worst in seven decades, leaving millions struggling to buy food, medicine, fuel and other necessities. Last week, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe declared that Sri Lanka was now a bankrupt country.



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