Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Sunday there was no point in demanding that he “go home” because he has no place to go while referring to threats received from protesters.
Speaking in Kandy, a city in Sri Lanka, Wickremesinghe said some people had threatened to stage protests, demanding that he return home, Colombo Gazette reported.
In response, Wickremesinghe said, “I ask you not to do this as I have no home to go to.”
Wickremesinghe said asking him to return home was just a waste of time and protesters should try to rebuild his burnt house instead.
“There is no need to tell a man who has no house to go home,” he said, adding that after his house is rebuilt, protesters may demand that he return home.
The president said the protesters must either rebuild the country or rebuild his house, Colombo Gazette reported.
He pointed out that the unrest had delayed a possible agreement with the International Monetary Fund to help pull the bankrupt country out of its economic crisis and urged political parties to work together to find permanent solutions to the problems facing Sri Lanka. .
He further said that there was no point in blaming former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for the economic crisis but rather urged all political parties to unite to pull the country out of economic mess and repay the debt.
Wickremesinghe noted that the protests had delayed a possible agreement with the IMF which was progressing after he took office as prime minister.
“Negotiations have stalled due to instability in the island nation over the past few weeks as agitators have stormed the country amid extreme fuel and food shortages,” he said. declared.
The president reiterated that other countries are unwilling to offer financial assistance to the island nation until an agreement is reached with the IMF. Sri Lanka needs to find ways to repay its loans as the IMF will not completely solve the problems the country is facing.
Notably, on July 9, Sri Lankan protesters broke into the private residence of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and set it on fire, angered by the unprecedented economic crisis.
Just a few hours ago, with then President Gotabaya Rajapaksa calling for his resignation, they broke into the compound, tore down the security cordons placed by the police, bathed in the swimming pool and wandered around his kitchen and his house.
Several journalists were also attacked by security forces, after which other protesters gathered in the area, the Daily Mirror reported.
Earlier, the police fired tear gas at the protesters but despite this they entered his house and set the house on fire.
Following this, Wickremesinghe, who was appointed Prime Minister in May, announced his resignation from his post in order to ensure the continuity of government and the security of all 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 president in an election held in parliament on July 20.
Notably, Sri Lanka is suffering its worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948, which follows successive waves of COVID-19, threatening to undo years of development progress and severely compromising the country’s ability to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The protests came after the deteriorating economic situation in the country led to increased tensions and reports of several clashes between individuals and members of the police and armed forces at gas stations where Thousands of desperate members of the public lined up for hours and sometimes days amid the fuel shortage.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)