Friday, 19 August, 2022

Sri Lanka president seeks unity govt to save economy

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's new president Ranil Wickremesinghe has formally invited MPs to join an all-party unity government to revive the bankrupt economy by undertaking painful reforms, his office said Sunday.

Wickremesinghe took office earlier this month after public anger over the island nation's worst economic crisis forced his predecessor Gotabaya Rajapaksa to flee the country and quit, reports AFP.

In a meeting Saturday with the influential monks of the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, one of Buddhism's most sacred shrines, Wickremesinghe outlined his plans.

"As the president, I wish to start a new journey," Wickremesinghe was quoted as telling the monks in his first meeting with the powerful Buddhist clergy since taking office.

"I would like to get all the parties together and go on that journey as well as to form an all-party government."

He has written to all lawmakers asking them to join a unity government. A former opposition MP, Wickremesinghe, 73, took up the premiership for the sixth time in May after Rajapaksa's elder brother Mahinda resigned and there were no other takers for the job.