Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Sunday said that there is no point in demanding that he “goes home” as he has no home to go to while referring to the threats received from the protestors.
Speaking in Kandy, a city in Sri Lanka, Wickremesinghe said that some people have threatened to stage protests, demanding that he goes home, Colombo Gazette reported.
In response, Wickremesinghe said, “I am appealing to you not to do that as I have no home to go to.”
Wickremesinghe said that demanding him to go home is just a waste of time instead the protesters should try to rebuild his burnt house.
“No point telling a man who has no home, to go home,” he said, adding that after his house is rebuilt then the protesters can demand that he goes home.
The President said that the protesters must either rebuild the country or rebuild his house, Colombo Gazette reported.
He highlighted that the unrest had delayed a possible deal with the International Monetary Fund to help pull the bankrupt nation out of its economic crisis and urged political parties must work together on finding permanent solutions to the issues faced by Sri Lanka.
He further said that there is no point in blaming former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa for the economic crisis but rather urged all political parties to come together to take the country out of the economic mess and repay the debt.
Wickremesinghe noted that the protests had delayed a possible deal with the IMF which was progressing after he assumed duties as Prime Minister.
“The negotiations stalled due to instability in the island nation over the past few weeks as agitators stormed the nation amid extreme fuel and food shortages,” he said.
The President reiterated that other countries are not willing to offer financial assistance to the island nation until a deal is reached with the IMF. Sri Lanka needs to find ways to repay its loans as IMF will not fully resolve the issues faced by the country.
Notably, on July 9, Sri Lankan protesters broke into then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s private residence and set it on fire, angered by the unprecedented economic crisis.
Just a few hours ago with the demand for then President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation, they stormed into the compound, tore down security cordons placed by police, took a dip in the swimming pool and romped through his kitchen and home.
Several journalists were also attacked by the security forces after which more protestors gathered in the area, Daily Mirror reported.
Earlier, the police fired tear gas at the protesters but despite that, they entered his house and set the house on fire.
Following this, Wickremesinghe, who was appointed as Prime Minister in May, announced his resignation from his post in order to ensure the continuation of the government and the safety of all the citizens.
On July 21, following the resignation of then President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Wickremesinghe was sworn in as President of Sri Lanka in Parliament before Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya. He was elected as president in an election held in Parliament on July 20.
Notably, 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 protests came after the worsening economic situation in the country led to increasing tensions and 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 queued for hours and sometimes days amid the fuel shortage.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)