Sri lanka News – Sri Lanka’s military chiefs had asked party leaders to meet with the Parliamentary speaker and tell them next political steps they intended to take until a new President is elected and called on the public and young protestors to be calm, Chief of Staff Shavendra Silva said.
The speaker had said President Rajapaksa will resign later today as protests erupted with the country suffering the worst currency crises triggered by the island’s 72 year old intermediate regime central bank.
The military chiefs had had discussion with the speaker.
“The heads of the tri-forces and police chief made a request from the speaker to call a meeting of party leaders and clarify the next political steps, and inform us of the political steps,”General Silva said in a televised address flanked by the heads of Air Force, Army, Navy and Police.
“We are confident these decisions to be made public in the evening,”
“Until these decisions are made new President is elected we appeal to the public to support the military and police. We ask the dear people of the country not to support us to maintain the peace.”
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe said earlier in the day that fascist segments among protestors are making trouble and had asked a committee of military chiefs to restore order.
Ppposition leader Sajith Premadasa also made a rhetoric charged statement while calling for calm.
Ex-President Maithripala Sirisena said the quickest way to calm protestors was for Ranil Wickremesighe who was appointed acting President to resign.
Protestors overran the Prime Minister’s office earlier in the day breaking police barricades after he was appointed acting President.
Sri Lanka’s central bank had so far triggered 12-month inflation of over 50 percent while engaging in stimulus and a botched float with a surrender requirement, which collapsed the rupee from 200 to 360 in two months.
Kumar Gunaratnam, head of the Frontline Socialist Party, whose affiliated Inter-university Student Federation who form the vanguard of the battle with police water cannon and tear-gas said recently the protestors created a new law.
Gunaratnam was a top leader of the military wing of the the Janatha Vimukthi Permuna which was involved in an armed uprising in the late 1980s after years of high inflation and currency depreciation by the central bank which discredited open economic policies of the then administration.
The rupee fell from 16.53 rupees in 1981 to 33.03 by 1988.
The rupee had fallen from 131 to 360 from 2015 to mid 2022 and forex shortages from a soft-peg broken by money printing and 7 year of monetary stimulus which was topped by fiscal stimulus from 2020.
The broken soft-peg had triggered forex shortages and fuel shortages, putting the public in severe difficulties and raising their ire. (Colombo/July12/2022)