PM Mahinda Rajapaksa appeals to end protests, says govt working to resolve crisi

The Prime Minister's speech comes at a time when the nation is rocked by massive anti-government protests over weeks of lengthy power outages and shortage of gas, food and other essentials.

In a bid to calm the agitating protesters, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Monday said his government is working round-the-clock to overcome the economic crisis.

Calling for patience and support, the prime minister said his government was working to resolve issues as much as possible over the next few days.

Appealing to the protesters to end their agitation, Rajapaksa said every minute spent on streets deprives the cash-strapped country of precious dollars.

The prime minister’s speech comes at a time when the nation is rocked by massive anti-government protests over weeks of lengthy power outages and shortage of gas, food and other essentials.

Three members of the ruling alliance had proposed forming an interim government, a week after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa called for a unity administration amid unrest and a severe economic crisis, news agency Reuters reported.

The main proposal is to have an all-party committee to make key decisions and the appointment of a new prime minister and limited Cabinet,” said Udaya Gammanpila, chief of the Jathika Hela Urumaya party.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on Sunday said that it is ready to support the Opposition in moving a no-confidence motion against the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and is prepared to impeach the leader, PTI reported.

The SJB and TNA combined have 64 seats in the 225-member assembly.

The Rajapaksa government, which has more than 150 seats with allies, lost 42 members, when they declared independence from the SLPP-ruling coalition.

The Parliament is not scheduled to meet before April 19.