Sri Lanka crisis: No one can dictate Parliament from outside, says PM Wickremesinghe

He laments the attack on his private residence, the loss of precious book and paintings


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Published: Mon 11 Jul 2022, 6:21 PM

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday said that the government should work within the constitutional framework and no one can go beyond it or dictate to Parliament.

"I will safeguard the constitution. No one can go beyond it and no one can force or dictate Parliament from outside. I am here to safeguard the constitution, one must listen to the people but should act in accordance with the constitution. Sri Lanka needs an all-party government. We have to work for it," the Prime Minister said in a special statement, according to Daily Mirror.

He also lamented the attack on his private residence. Wickremesinghe, however, blamed false messages on social media that led to the attack by protestors, the Sri Lankan publication said.

"I was at home that afternoon following some meetings when the police advised me to leave my private residence as some of those who were returning from the protests happened to pass my home. I, therefore, left my residence with my wife. My residence was burnt and I have lost some valuable goods I had. These comprise books which were written in the Portuguese and Dutch eras in Sri Lanka. All these books except for one have been burnt. Also, I lost some valuable paintings done by the British soon after they occupied Sri Lanka. There was one painting of King Wimaladharasuriya meeting Dutch Ambassador. Maithree and I decided to donate those valuable books to Royal College, Peradeniya University, and other institutions. There was a background to the attack," Wickremesinghe said.

Sri Lankan protesters broke into Wickremesinghe's private residence on Saturday and set it on fire, angered by the unprecedented economic crisis.

Earlier, on Saturday, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced in a press conference that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will resign from his post on July 13.

Several journalists were also attacked by the security forces after which more protestors gathered in the area, Daily Mirror reported.

The worsening economic situation in the country has led to increasing tensions. Over the last few weeks, there were reports of several confrontations between individuals and members of the police force and the armed forces at fuel stations where thousands of people queued for hours and sometimes days.

Sri Lanka is suffering its worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948, which comes on the heels of successive waves of Covid-19.

The oil supply shortage has forced schools and government offices to close until further notice.

The economic crisis has particularly impacted food security, agriculture, livelihoods, and access to health services.


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