US urges Sri Lankan leaders to work ‘swiftly’ to achieve economic stability
After a dramatic escalation of anti-government protests in Colombo following a severe economic crisis, the United States urged Sri Lankan leaders to act quickly to seek long-term solutions.
The United States calls on “the Sri Lankan Parliament to approach this juncture with a commitment to the betterment of the nation – not any particular political party,” a State Department spokesperson said during the meeting. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Thailand.
“We urge this government or any new constitutionally elected government to work expeditiously to identify and implement solutions that will achieve long-term economic stability and address the discontent of the people of Sri Lanka with the deteriorating economic conditions, including power, food and fuel shortages,” the State Department spokesman added, Sri Lanka’s Daily Mirror reported.
The United States also warned against attacks on protesters or journalists, but also criticized Saturday’s violence. “The people of Sri Lanka have the right to speak out peacefully, and we call for the full investigation, arrest and prosecution of anyone involved in violent incidents related to the protests,” the doorman said. -word.
Several dramatic videos have been making the rounds on social media following Saturday’s upheaval where thousands of protesters stormed into the official residence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the capital Colombo, forcing him to flee to an unknown location.
With the president’s demand to resign, protesters broke into the president’s house, tore down police-placed security cordons, bathed in the pool, and roamed his kitchen and house.
The Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General Shavendra Silva, urged all citizens to support the armed forces and the police in order to maintain peace in the country, according to the media portal. He made the remarks in a special statement accompanied by the commanders of the three forces.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Tourism and Lands Minister Harin Fernando and Foreign Labor and Employment Minister Manusha Nanayakkara said they had decided to step down from their ministerial portfolios with immediate effect.
Sri Lankan protesters also broke into Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s private residence and set it on fire, angered by the unprecedented economic crisis.
Several journalists were also attacked by security forces, after which other protesters gathered in the area, the Daily Mirror reported. Police used water cannons to arrest enraged protesters.
The police also fired tear gas at the protesters, but despite this they entered the Prime Minister’s house and set the house on fire. Meanwhile, Colombo City Council (CMC) firefighters said they were informed that the Prime Minister’s private residence in Colombo had been set on fire and his crews were unable to reach the scene due to the unrest, according to the Daily Mirror.
Wickremesinghe, who was appointed Prime Minister in May, announced that he would step down from his post in order to ensure the continuity of government and the security of all citizens.
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa also agreed to step down on Wednesday.
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