On eve of Sri Lankan New Year, PM Rajapaksa offers to hold talks with protesters

Colombo [Sri Lanka]: Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Wednesday that as the country’s prime minister, he is ready to speak with the protesters who have been protesting against the government at Galle Face in Colombo for five days over the economic and political crisis.

“Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has stated that he is ready for a discussion. Rajapaksa is likely to take the views of the protesters to deal with the current economic challenge faced by the country. If the protesters are ready for this discussion, they will inform the government about the group of the representatives who will speak on behalf of the protestors,” Sri Lanka Prime Minister’s office said.

Sri Lankans are set to celebrate Happy New Year on April 14. PM Rajapaksa has reached out to the protesters on the eve of the new year.

The island nation is facing its worst economic crisis since independence with food and fuel shortages, soaring prices and power cuts affecting a large number of the people in the island nation, resulting in massive protests over the government’s handling of the situation.

Sri Lanka’s economy has been in a free-fall since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the crash of the tourism sector.

Sri Lanka is also facing a foreign exchange shortage, which has affected its capacity to import food and fuel. The shortage of essential goods forced Sri Lanka to seek assistance from friendly countries.

The economic situation has led to huge protests with demands for the resignation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Earlier, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in a special address to the nation on Monday requested people to remain patient and stop taking to the streets in order to enable the government to resolve the situation. (ANI)

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