As the countrywide protests continue over the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, former Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya called the 9th of July, the day when the demonstration started, a “public day.”
In an exclusive conversation with ANI, Jayasuriya said that protesters had protested peacefully and all the demonstrators wanted President to resign.
Talking about the protest, he said, “I joined the protesters. Even I was with them in their previous protest. I support the protesters from day 1…I have been protesting for the last three months.”
Responding to the question about who will be the next leader of the country, Jayasuriya said, “They have said that they will resign but officially it has not been declared from their end.” He further said that there is Speaker in the parliament, senior politicians and also the party leaders, who need to take a quick decision regarding this issue.
Over joining politics, Jayasuriya clearly refused and said, ” I will not join politics.”
Former cricketer lauded the Indian government and said that India is being helpful to the country from the start of the crisis. He was thankful to the Indian government for sending humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka.
Earlier, President Rajapaksa officially informed PM Wickremesinghe that he is resigning from his post.
Rajapaksa has informed that he will be resigning as previously announced, the Prime Minister’s media unit said, according to Colombo Gazette.
Rajapaksa’s resignation comes after thousands of people stormed into the President’s House in Fort on Saturday.
Even Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has also announced to step down from their posts amid the ongoing protests. However, the protesters who have occupied the residences of the President and Prime Minister have cleared that they will continue to occupy their houses until they resign from their posts.
The worsening economic situation in the country has led to increasing tensions and over the last few weeks, there were reports of several confrontations between individuals and members of the police force and the armed forces at fuel stations where thousands of desperate members of the public have queued for hours and sometimes days.
Sri Lanka is suffering its worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948, which comes on the heels of successive waves of COVID-19, threatening to undo years of development progress and severely undermining the country’s ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The oil supply shortage has forced schools and government offices to close until further notice. Reduced domestic agricultural production, a lack of foreign exchange reserves, and local currency depreciation have fuelled the shortages.
The economic crisis will push families into hunger and poverty – some for the first time – adding to the half a million people who the World Bank estimates have fallen below the poverty line because of the pandemic. (ANI)