Sri Lanka’s President to make televised statement today amid crisis: Report
Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will address the country on Wednesday at 9pm local time, news agency Bloomberg reported citing his spokesman Sudewa Hettiarachchi. The subject of the address – which will be televised in the crisis-hit island nation – is unclear.
Sri Lanka is currently facing the worst economic crisis and political instability ever after Independence due to manifold reasons both short and long-term.
In result of the that, the island is struggling to import evem basic necessities such as medicines, fuel for its 22 million people, spurring weeks of anti-government protests that turned violent and led to the Mahinda Rajapaksa’s resignation on Monday. Eight people died and over 200 were injured.
After the violent clashes, the country’s defence ministry on Tuesday ordered troops to shoot at any persons damaging public property or threatening lives.
The country is currently under strict curfew which is expetced to be lifted by Thursday. Earlier in the day, military spokesman Brigadier Nilantha Premaratne said the stiuation on the ground is relatively peaceful for now, Bloomberg reported.
The military has been deployed to help the police maintain law and order, and people have been advised to stay in their homes, he also said.
The protesters are demadning Gotabaya to resign from the post of President over the mismanagement of the economy and not doing enough to mitigate the ongoing crisis.
Earlier, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is in talks with Sri Lnakan leadership for aid, said it is closely following developments and is “concerned about rising social tensions and violence.”
“Technical level” discussions between IMF officials and Sri Lanka authorities have started, will continue in order to be ready for policy discussions once a new Sri Lanka government is formed, said Masahiro Nozaki, the fund’s mission chief.
(With agency inputs)