New Delhi: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will not resign “under no circumstance” amid mass protests and demands for the president’s resignation, Sri Lankan Highways Minister Johnston Fernando said Wednesday.
“I would like to remind that 6.9 million people voted for the president. We are saying as a government, that under no circumstance, will the president resign. We will face this,” Fernando said in the parliament Wednesday.
The minister’s comments came after Rajapaksa’s ruling coalition lost its majority in Parliament Tuesday. Dozens of lawmakers walk out of the ruling coalition to protest the state of emergency imposed on the country.
Fernando, who is also Lanka’s chief government whip, blamed the Opposition Janatha Vimukthi Peramunawas (JVP) party for the violence in the country. He urged the people to resist such “thug politics” and end the violence.
The minister also said the Rajapaksa government would “continue to work to address the issues faced by the public”, reported Colombo Page.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa later revoked the emergency order Wednesday.
The Lankan government has faced huge backlash from citizens protesting the worsening economic crisis in the country.
The island nation has also declared a medical emergency due to a severe shortage of medicines in the country as economic crisis hits drug supplies, reported news agency ANI.
The medical emergency was declared by the country’s trade union, the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA), Wednesday in a meeting. The trade body accused the Lankan government for the crisis and demanded it to take “full responsibility” for the failed system.
“Both the government and health ministry have failed to prevent a complete breakdown of the medical system,” it added.
Also read: Sri Lanka economic crisis shows how populism and hasty decisions can make a country crash