According to a report from the media on Saturday, the newly elected President Ranil Wickremesinghe presided over the first meeting of Sri Lanka’s Cabinet since he took office. At this meeting, the Cabinet discussed ways to normalise the situation in the economically troubled country within a week by regularising the functions of the government bodies such as the Prime Minister’s Office and the Presidency Secretariat.
According to a story in the Daily Mirror newspaper, the President reportedly made the request for the meeting after the new cabinet members were appointed on Friday.
According to the newspaper, which cited anonymous sources, they discussed how the situation in the country should be brought back to normal within one week by restoring normal functioning to government institutions like the Office of the Prime Minister and the Presidential Secretariat, as well as schools.
The Cabinet was told that gasoline supplies adequate for one month had been acquired, and as a result, distribution should be accelerated in accordance with a quota system.
The President was quoted as saying that he has given the security forces the authority to protect the Constitution and to provide an atmosphere in which people may live without fear.
The discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that are now continuing in order to gain financial assistance were another topic of discussion for the Cabinet.
In the meanwhile, the Opposition has asked Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to convene Parliament on July 25 to debate the recent assaults on peaceful protesters at Galle Face by security personnel as well as the present state of affairs in the nation.
In a pre-dawn raid on Friday, Sri Lankan army and police were equipped with assault rifles and batons, and they used those weapons to forcefully evict anti-government demonstrators who had camped in front of the presidential office.
The pre-dawn attack on the largest camp of the anti-government protestors has been characterised by the police as a “special operation to take control of the presidential secretariat.”
After taking control of the President’s and Prime Minister’s mansions as well as the Prime Minister’s office on July 9, the demonstrators eventually left those locations; nevertheless, they continued to occupy some areas inside the President’s secretariat.
They also refused to acknowledge Wickremesinghe as the new president because they held him partially responsible for the catastrophic economic and political catastrophe that the nation is currently experiencing.
Since the 9th of April, the major protest group has been preventing people from entering the President’s Office. They have said that they would continue their fight until Wickremesinghe steps down.
The newly elected administration of Sri Lanka has come under fire for its use of force to disperse demonstrators who were opposed to the government.
Many people believe that the past administration of Sri Lanka, which was headed by former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his family, is to responsible for the island nation’s current economic crisis, which has been going on for many months and has led to widespread discontent.
During the demonstrations that took place a week ago, protesters set fire to Wickremesinghe’s personal apartment and invaded his office.
A nation with a population of 22 million people, Sri Lanka, is now mired in an unparalleled economic crisis, the worst in seven decades. As a result, millions of people are finding it difficult to purchase food, medication, gasoline, and other necessities. Sri Lanka’s overall foreign debt amounts at USD 51 billion.