President and PM at odds on PM’s resignation

In two seemingly contradictory statements yesterday (27), President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that he is, in principle, willing to form an all-party government with the political parties representing the Parliament, following the resignation of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers, while Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had never asked him to resign from his position and believes the President would never make such a request.

The President conveyed his stance on an all-party government in a letter directed to all political party leaders in the ruling faction, as well as the leaders of political parties that represented the Government after the 2020 General Election and currently sit independently in the House.

The structure, tenure, and portfolios of this all-party government, which is to be established after the resignation of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers, need to be agreed upon following discussions, the President said in the letter.

As the first step for this purpose, the President has called a meeting tomorrow (29) at 10.30 a.m. at the President’s House in Colombo 1 with the participation of the recipients of the letter.

The President added in the letter that the venerable Chief Prelates of the Three Chapters, Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, and other religious leaders, political parties, and various organisations have appealed to him to form an all-party government representative of each political party in Parliament, as a solution to the present social and economic crisis.

However, during an audience with the chairpersons, mayors, and members of local government institutions yesterday, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has never asked him to resign from his position and also expressed confidence that the President would not ask him to resign at any point.

“I have to tell you that the President has, at no stage, asked me to resign, and I am confident that he would not ask me to resign at any stage in future either,” he said, to applause from the audience.

He also said that he is not willing to resign, as it would be detrimental to Sri Lanka.

“Anyone can make allegations, but those allegations need to be proven. We cannot turn our back on the Constitution and leave, and allow the country to descend into a state of anarchy,” he said.

These remarks by the President and Prime Minister came yesterday amidst growing agitations against the incumbent Government, with protesters calling for the resignation of the President, the Premier, and the Cabinet of Ministers.

PM Rajapaksa also told the local government authorities that the Government would rebuild the country, even with foreign aid.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday (26) also emphasised that he does not intend to step down from his position, and that he has taken measures to resolve the present crisis within a matter of days.

“Don’t worry about the current crisis, it will be resolved in the days ahead, and I will not be stepping down from my position,” the Prime Minister said during an audience with the Provincial Council Members’ Forum, which also included several ministers.

The forum passed a unanimous resolution that the Prime Minister should not vacate his position at the moment.

“We are facing a crisis in the country, but I have faith that this will be resolved in the days ahead. You have all placed your trust in me and have requested me to remain as the Prime Minister. Rest assured, I will remain as the Prime Minister and will not be stepping down,” reiterated Rajapaksa on Tuesday.

He further added that he is completely aware of the situation in the country and has already taken steps to resolve the matter.

“I have seen the long queues of people standing for milk powder and other essentials. I have also seen how people struggle to obtain fuel for their vehicles. I have also seen the suffering of the people due to the power cuts. But I have also taken steps to resolve these issues immediately, and I can assure you that in the coming days, solutions will be found,” he concluded.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: