Sri Lankan PM gets presidential powers, says parliament speaker

N EW DELHI: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has told the parliament speaker that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had been appoin...

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EW DELHI: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has told the parliament speaker that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had been appointed as the country’s acting president, Speaker of the Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said on Wednesday.

"President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Acting President in accordance with the Article 37.1 of the Constitution," the Daily Mirror newspaper quoted him as saying.

The top lawmaker also reported that the president informed him of the prime minister’s appointment since the president himself "was away from the country."

Overnight on Wednesday, Rajapaksa and his spouse left the island nation for the Maldives.

On Saturday, thousands of protesters took to the streets of Colombo, demanding the resignation of the head of state. More than 100 people were injured in the protests. They also stormed the residencies of the president and the prime minister, setting Wickremesinghe’s mansion on fire.

The protests sparked by financial and economic crises have engulfed the country since early April. As Wickremesinghe told TASS in an exclusive interview, Sri Lanka is hit hard by the worst crisis in modern history, and the island nation’s politicians cannot yet find parallels to such a crisis in this century or in the last century or the century before. According to the prime minister, the country is currently in the middle of the crisis.

Wickremesinghe pointed out that Sri Lanka was facing severe shortages of foreign currencies, fuel and petroleum products, fertilizers, food for some groups of the population, and medicines. According to his estimates, it will take three years or even more to recover from the economic crisis.

"President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Acting President in accordance with the Article 37.1 of the Constitution," the Daily Mirror newspaper quoted him as saying.

The top lawmaker also reported that the president informed him of the prime minister’s appointment since the president himself "was away from the country."

Overnight on Wednesday, Rajapaksa and his spouse left the island nation for the Maldives.

On Saturday, thousands of protesters took to the streets of Colombo, demanding the resignation of the head of state. More than 100 people were injured in the protests. They also stormed the residencies of the president and the prime minister, setting Wickremesinghe’s mansion on fire.

The protests sparked by financial and economic crises have engulfed the country since early April. As Wickremesinghe told TASS in an exclusive interview, Sri Lanka is hit hard by the worst crisis in modern history, and the island nation’s politicians cannot yet find parallels to such a crisis in this century or in the last century or the century before. According to the prime minister, the country is currently in the middle of the crisis.

Wickremesinghe pointed out that Sri Lanka was facing severe shortages of foreign currencies, fuel and petroleum products, fertilizers, food for some groups of the population, and medicines. According to his estimates, it will take three years or even more to recover from the economic crisis.

-News Feed

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Local Glob: Sri Lankan PM gets presidential powers, says parliament speaker
Sri Lankan PM gets presidential powers, says parliament speaker
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