Colombo, May 10: The Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has urged the general public to remain calm and stop acts of violence and revenge, irrespective of political affiliations.
Taking to his official Twitter account, the President said all efforts will be made to restore political stability, through consensus within the constitutional mandate.
He also assured that necessary measures will be taken to resolve the economic crisis.
“I appeal and urge people to remain calm & stop violence & acts of revenge against citizens, irrespective of political affiliations. All efforts will be made to restore political stability through consensus, within constitutional mandate & to resolvethe economic crisis,” he tweeted.
President Should quit says: Opposition Leader
The Leader of the Opposition, Sajith Premadasa, said that the President and the government should be held accountable for the unfortunate situation in the country and called for the President’s immediate resignation.
“The people of the country are protesting calling for the resignation of the President,” he said in a statement. “After an embarrassing and failed attempt to use thugs to suppress the protestors, the resignation of the Prime Minister and Government alone is not enough.”
He called on the President to resign immediately “without deceiving the people any further by only displaying the resignation of the Prime Minister. “The only way of solving the crises in the country is for the President to step down.”
This could be seen as a setback to efforts by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) which is engaged in the formation of a national government through a compromise between the President and the political parties in parliament.
At the same time, the President’s quitting might activate parliament by forcing it to think collectively and constructively on finding a solution to the problems of governance.
Defense Ministry Order
Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry has ordered the army, navy and the air force called out to carry out law and order duties to shoot anyone who is looting properties or harming any individual.
This follows a mob attack on the Senior DIG in charge of Western Province, Deshabandu Tennakoon. He was injured in the attack at Perahera Mawatha near the Beira Lake in Colombo behind the official residence of the Prime Minister.
Footage of the incident, circulating on social media, shows several persons surrounding and attacking the police officer with clubs, sticks and other objects.
The residences and property of 53 ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) politicians from ex-ministers to MPs to local government level leaders were attacked and in some cases totally destroyed on Monday.
But the police have been asked to inquire only into the first act of violence, in which the supporters of former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa attacked anti-government demonstrators in Colombo. No local or international leader has commented on the deadly retaliatory attacks across the island.