Sri lanka News – Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa promised to solve the shortage of essential goods including fuel, gas, and medicines “within a few days” ahead of a people’s protest that is expected to continue until the president steps down.
Thousands of people marched to capital Colombo on Friday for the July 9 protest near President’s official residence demanding Rajapaksa to resign due to his failure to ensure essential supplies due to acute dollar shortage after the central bank printed trillions of rupees amid adverse economic policy decisions.
Over dozen of people have died in fuel queues where motorists are now forced to stay for more up to four days to obtain limited fuel. There is no fuel in the filling stations of state-run fuel retailer Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) for the past two week and the shipment schedules show the expected imports will not reduce the queues.
The President’s Media Division (PMD) in a statement said “after a long and well-planned effort, the country is now reaping its benefits,” referring to the strategies Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have done in the last two months.
The PMD said essential medicines have already been received, 65,000 MT of fertilizers have been ordered under Indian credit line facilities and the the first ship carrying 44,000 MT is to reach on Saturday (09), and the required fuel, gas and ordered essentials will continue to be received from July 12, while all arrangements have been made to prevent food shortage in the country under various agricultural programmes.
The PMD also said a Constitutional Amendment to reduce the power of the president has been already approved by the cabinet.
However, constitutional experts say the proposed 21st Amendment which has been approved by the cabinet will not remove the powers of Gotabaya Rajapaksa until his term ends and there is politicization of the Constitutional Council which decides all the independent commissions.
Anti-government protesters who have been agitating for past three months have called the entire country to join the protest and pressure the resignation of Rajapaksa.
“At a time when successful solutions have been achieved to the existing problematic situation, the programme of the opposition political groups to mislead the people is very sad and unpleasant,” the PMD said.
“This will lead to set the country back once again. It is the responsibility and duty of the people to support the building of a good country for the future generations of the country through a correct economic programme.”
“Therefore, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa requested the people to properly understand the current situation and act peacefully and intelligently without getting caught up in wrong ideologies.” (Colombo/July 08/2022)