New Sri Lanka PM Wickremesinghe likely to give ‘full explanation’ of financial crisis today

Ranil Wickremesinghe, 73, was sworn-in last Thursday for a record sixth term, three days after the resignation of his predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Sri Lanka PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. (REUTERS FILE PHOTO)
Sri Lanka PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. (REUTERS FILE PHOTO)
Published on May 16, 2022 10:49 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

Ranil Wickremesinghe, the new prime minister of Sri Lanka who was sworn-in last Thursday, is likely to address the country on Monday, in what would be the first national address of his record sixth term as the island nation’s premier.

 

During the speech, Wickremesinghe will present the ‘full picture’ of Sri Lanka’s current economic crisis, its worst since 1948 when it gained independence from British rule.

Also Read | Behind the chaos: A perfect economic storm, brazen nepotism in Sri Lanka

“There is a lot to be done and undone. We are prioritizing matters, rest assured they shall be addressed as early as possible. We have managed to get things moving in the last 48 hours. I will provide a full explanation of the financial crisis faced by the country tomorrow,” the United National Party (UNP) leader said in a Twitter post last evening.

 

On fuel, the 73-year-old wrote that due to a scarcity of dollars in banks, his government was exploring options such as securing the necessary funds to pay for immediate fuel requirements.

Also Read | Sri Lanka faces an inflection point

On gas, he informed that his government had secured payments for a consignment, which, he said, will be unloaded and distributed ‘as soon as possible.’

 

“Medicine, Food and Fertilizer: At the conclusion of our meeting today, The World Bank and Asian Development Bank have pledged support to assist in procuring essential items,” Wickremesinghe also wrote.

“21st Amendment: This will be taken up for discussion with the Attorney General’s Department tomorrow and then be presented to Cabinet for approval,” he concluded his thread.

 

On April 21, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), the country’s principal opposition party, presented in Parliament a draft bill of the 21st constitutional amendment. The bill proposes, among other things, the abolition of the current executive presidential system.

Also Read | Tamil Nadu govt to send medical supplies worth 28 crores to Sri Lanka

Meanwhile, Ranil Wickremesinghe’s address, if it happens today, will come exactly one week after the resignation of his predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa, the older brother of the embattled President, Gotabaya. Already under pressure to step down, Mahinda Rajapaksa finally buckled after a group of Rajapaksa supporters attacked anti-government demonstrators, in Colombo, on May 9.

 

 

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