Thursday, September 29, 2022

Ranil Wickremesinghe invites parties to set up a national government in Sri Lanka

Bright Times News: To help the bankrupt nation of Sri Lanka overcome its worst economic crisis, President Ranil Wickremesinghe wrote to members of parliament and invited them to establish an all-party national administration.

Wickremesinghe stated in the letter on Friday that “the administration is now engaged in enormous measures to gradually normal political and social turmoil emerging out of the economic crisis.”

In light of this, he stated, “required preparatory preparations are being made to conduct a systematic economic program simultaneously taking preliminary actions to build economic stability.

A program, according to Wickremesinghe, can only be put into action if all of the political parties, professional associations, and civil society organizations represented in Parliament are involved.

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Additionally, he suggested starting discussions with the parties about restoring the Constitution’s 19th Amendment. The 2015 amendment known as 19A limited the President’s authority by giving Parliament control over the Executive Speaker.

In 2015, Wickremesinghe served as the 19th Amendment’s primary sponsor. But after Gotabaya Rajapaksa won the presidential election in November 2019, 19A was repealed. On July 20, Wickremesinghe was chosen as the new president of Sri Lanka by the nation’s parliamentarians, who largely supported the former president Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party.

There were only two non-SLPP MPs in the cabinet that was announced on Friday. According to the constitution, the government can include 30 members. The 73-year-old president was chosen to complete Rajapaksa’s term after he first fled to Singapore and then the Maldives.

Rajapaksa named Wickremesinghe prime minister in the middle of May. He was tasked with restarting the economy by offering speedy fixes to the issues of fuel, cooking gas, and electricity shortages, which resulted in a significant uprising against Rajapaksa.

In mid-April, the government declared bankruptcy and stopped making payments on its foreign debt. The severe fuel shortage that has worsened since the final cargoes made possible by the Indian credit line arrived in June, according to Wickremesinghe on Wednesday, is the government’s top concern.

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