班尔奇

Sri Lanka on the edge

Release time:2022-05-09 Publisher:South Asia Development

Mahinda Rajapaksa, the incumbent Prime Minister of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna-led government has decided to resign from the post following weeks-long protests.

Media Secretary Rohan Welivita confirmed that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has handed in his letter of resignation to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The development comes after violent protests erupted opposite Temple Trees, Galle Face Green and several locations across Colombo and other cities.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Rajapaksa claimed that he always acted in the best interest of the people and that he is willing to make any sacrifice for the people.

Unrest and violence have been reported from across the country following clashes that broke out outside the Temple Trees earlier today.

The public has since taken to the streets to express their displeasure over the recent developments.

According to reports, vehicles have been torched, buses have been attacked, several buildings were damaged while tyres were also burnt.

Pro-Rajapaksa protesters following a gathering at the Temple Trees began breaking down the structures that were set up during the past few days outside Temple Trees by anti-government protesters.

The pro-Rajapaksa group then began clashing with the peaceful protesters that led to several individuals sustaining injuries.

The structures were also set alight by the pro-government protesters.

The pro-Rajapaksa protesters then proceeded to march towards the Galle Face Green where they destroyed the structures, including the library, that were set up at the site.

The peaceful non-partisan protests at Gotagogama marked one-month yesterday.

The protests opposite the Presidential Secretariat commenced on the 9th of April and has continued day and night till today.

The public has since been gathering at Galle Face pledging their support to the indefinite protests.

In addition to the protests at Gota Go Gama, protests have been initiated at several other parts of the country as well, demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, and the government.

The public is repeatedly demanding the government to provide solutions to the economic and political crisis in the country.

Police curfew was imposed island wide this afternoon. Police earlier imposed curfew in three Police divisions.

However, following the escalation of the clashes at the Galle Face Green protest site curfew was extended to the Western Province.

The Police Media Division said curfew was then extended island wide and will remain in place until further notice.

Police requested residents to remain indoors during the duration of curfew.

However, despite the island wide curfew that is currently in place, protesters continued to converge on Galle Face in support of anti-government protests.

Five individuals have been hospitalised following a shooting and a clash in Nittambuwa.

When contacted by NewsRadio Police confirmed that three individuals were injured in the shooting. Two others were injured in the clashes.

The five injured individuals have been admitted to the Wathupitiwala Base Hospital for treatment.

Leader of the JVP Parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake also visited the protest site amidst the on-going demonstration.

Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa, and several SJB MPs including Eran Wickramaratne, Mujibur Rahman and Kavinda Jayawardena also arrived at the Galle Face Green protest site earlier today.

SJB MPs including Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa were received with opposition by protesters. Protesters approached them with clubs resulting in them leaving the protest site.

The Sri Lanka Army has deployed troops to Galle Face.

The Army said in order to assist the

Police and control the situation, the Sri Lanka Army deployed its troops to Galle Face.

Troops have been deployed with immediate effect to protect civilians and maintain peace in the area.

Leave of all Police officers has been cancelled owing to the prevailing situation in the country.

The Police Headquarters said according to the directives of the Inspector General of Police, leave of all Policemen of all ranks has been cancelled until further notice.

Accordingly, Police officers have been advised to report to work with immediate effect.

The number of individuals injured in the clashes between pro-government and anti-government protesters has increased to more than 150.

When contacted by NewsRadio, a spokesman of the Colombo National Hospital confirmed that the number of individuals who sustained injuries has risen to over 150.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa earlier condemned the violent acts by those inciting and participating, irrespective of political allegiances.

The President in a twitter message said violence won’t solve the current problems and requested citizens to remain calm, exercise restraint and work together to solve the crisis.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, prior to handing in his resignation, urged the public to exercise restraint.

The Prime Minister said while emotions are running high in Sri Lanka, the public must exercise restraint and remember that violence only begets violence.

The Prime Minister said the economic crisis we are in needs an economic solution which this administration is committed to resolving.

The United National Party has condemned the cowardly attacks by pro-government supporters on the peaceful protesters at Galle Face.

In a statement, the UNP said the people are asking the government for a solution to the crisis, and the government has resorted to violence.

Meanwhile, Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has called for restraint amidst violent incidents across the country.

Issuing a special statement, former Prime Minister Wickremesinghe condemned the unprovoked violence against peaceful protesters at Galle Face today.

The Former Prime Minister noted that a number of individuals mainly youth peacefully protested for several days at the Galle Face Green protest site.

Leader of the United National Party Wickremesinghe noted that those running the country did not give due consideration to the demands of the protests.

Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said all those who were involved in violence must be punished.

The Former Prime Minister said however infighting amongst various groups will not help resolve the current crisis and it will only worsen the problems in the country.

Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the country cannot function in future if political parties continue to work according to various agendas.

Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the time is apt to appoint a non-partisan government to resolve the existing issues in the country.

The former Premier said the country can be restored to its former glory by working together.

The UNP Leader therefore called on all factions to work towards rebuilding the country.

Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa has condemned the violence on protesters outside Temple Trees and at Galle Face.

MP Premadasa said a group unleashed violence on him as well, when he approached the Galle Face protest site.

MP Premadasa said the Rajapaksas deployed their henchmen and political terrorists on peaceful and democratic protesters.

He added he too was assaulted, claiming no Premadasa is afraid of goons and violent protesters.

2,000 trade unions will withdraw from services and launch an indefinite strike action at midnight today.

The unions claim they will engage in protests against the government.

When inquired by NewsRadio, Chief Secretary of the Ceylon Teacher Services Union Mahinda Jayasinghe said they will engage in trade union action against the pro-government attack on peaceful protesters.

He vehemently condemned the attack on protesters who were engaged in peaceful and democratic protests. Jayasinghe said they will act against the government’s thuggery, violence, and undemocratic actions.

He added as of midnight the state sector will come to a standstill today, with teachers and principals also expected to join the strike together with all trade unions.

All licensed liquor stores have been instructed to close during curfew.

The Commissioner General of Excise said liquor stores must remain closed until curfew imposed in the country is lifted.