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President Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka claims he is not a “friend” of the former Rajapaksa family and promises to bring about a systemic change in the country

PoliticsPresident Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka claims he is not a "friend" of the former Rajapaksa family and promises to bring about a systemic change in the country

“I am not a friend of the Rajapaksas, I am a friend of the people,” President Ranil Wickremesinghe has informed the people of Sri Lanka. He has also promised to bring about the much-needed system reform that the people of Sri Lanka have been longing for.

The veteran politician, who is 73 years old, was elected president of Sri Lanka on Wednesday by the country’s lawmakers, and he was sworn in as the country’s 8th president on Thursday. This happened just a few days after the previous president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, fled the country and then resigned from his position.

Because of his perceived closeness to Gotabaya Rajapaksa, anti-government protesters are now calling for Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to step down from his position. These protesters were successful in forcing members of the influential Rajapaksa family to step down from their official positions in the midst of the unprecedented economic crisis.

Wickremesinghe paid a visit to the Gangarama Temple on Wednesday, shortly after being elected President of Sri Lanka. The Gangarama Temple is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Colombo.

When Wickremesinghe was asked how he would be different from the Rajapaksas given the fact that he is a longtime friend of theirs, he responded by asking, “How am I an old friend of the Rajapaksas? “I have been fighting against them during this whole period,” the newly elected President said.

In addition to this, he was quoted as saying, “I am not a friend of the Rajapaksas, I am a friend of the people. I had the opportunity to collaborate with former President Chandrika Kumaratunge in the past. While I was affiliated with one party, she was a member of the other. “Just because I collaborate with a President of the other party does not imply that we are friends,” the President said.

In addition to this, he emphasised that he is a friend of the people and said that he would bring about the change that the people want.

Wickremesinghe has said that he is examining the possibility of bolstering the support for his United National Party.

In addition, he offered his thoughts on the storming and vandalising of recognisable government facilities here on July 9 in the days that followed.

He said that forcefully occupying the President’s Office and the Prime Minister’s Office is unlawful, and that legal action would be taken against anyone who participate in such criminal conduct. He also stated that the President’s Office and the Prime Minister’s Office are considered government buildings.

Wickremesinghe’s personal residence was destroyed in a fire started by protesters.

“The Aragalaya was opposed to the established order. It is imperative that we provide individuals who participate in peaceful protest the opportunity to do so. We are also able to reply to what they have to say,” he said.

“struggle” is translated from the Sinhalese term aragalaya.

On the other hand, an Aragalaya shouldn’t be used in illegal activities like overthrowing governments, torching homes, or occupying crucial offices.

The President said that the actions in question did not uphold democratic principles and called them “criminal conduct.”

In order to provide the essentials for its population of 22 million people, who have been dealing with lengthy lines, rising shortages, and power outages, Sri Lanka needs around 5 billion US dollars over the next six months.

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