Sri Lanka's Speaker seeks Prez Rajapaksa's resignation; says other options to be considered if not

Speaker Abeywardena said that he informed President Rajapaksa to submit his letter of resignation as soon as possible, citing that he too is under pressure.

Published: 14th July 2022 11:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th July 2022 12:10 PM   |  A+A-

Sri Lankan protesters after storming the Prime Minister's office, demanding he resign after Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, July 13, 2022. (PTI)

By PTI

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena on Thursday informed Gotabaya Rajapaksa that he should submit his letter of resignation as the President as soon as possible or else he will consider other options to remove him from the office, according to a media report.

On Wednesday, the Parliament Speaker said that the President in a telephone conversation had informed that he would tender his letter of resignation during the day, before midnight. However, he has not done it yet.

Speaker Abeywardena said that he informed President Rajapaksa to submit his letter of resignation as soon as possible, citing that he too is under pressure, News First Lanka reported on Thursday.

He said that since an acting President has been appointed, the Office of the Speaker is exploring the legal provisions to consider the option of "have vacated his post" if the President does not tender in his letter of resignation, the report added.

A spokesperson from the Sri Lanka Parliament said that given that the President had not yet tendered his letter of resignation, it is uncertain if Parliament would be convened on Friday.

The Prime Minister's Media Division on Wednesday said that the acting President has informed Speaker Abeywardena to nominate a Prime Minister who is acceptable to both the Government and Opposition. There have been mass protests in Sri Lanka.

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At least 84 people were hospitalised when protesters clashed with the security forces at the prime minister's office and at the main access junction to Parliament on Wednesday after Rajapaksa fled the country.

The police fired tear gas and water cannons at the mob who were trying to break barriers and enter the restricted zone. The police spokesman Nihal Thalduwa said protesters had grabbed a T56 firearm and 60 bullets from a Sri Lanka Army soldier. A police complaint had been lodged, the police said.

Sri Lankan authorities on Thursday also lifted the curfew, which was imposed in the Western province after the eruption of violence in the capital here. Sri Lanka is going through a deepening political turmoil and economic crisis.

Sri Lanka, a country of 22 million people, is under the grip of an unprecedented economic turmoil, the worst in seven decades, leaving millions struggling to buy food, medicine, fuel and other essentials. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe last week said Sri Lanka is now a bankrupt country.



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