When you protest on road, we are losing dollars: SL PM

Colombo : In a special address to the nation amid the ongoing economic crisis and massive protests calling for his ouster, Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday requested people to remain patient in order to enable the government to resolve the situation.

Every second you protest on the road, we are losing dollars, Mahinda Rajapaksa said, adding that, every second of the President and the government is being used to resolve this crisis.

Rajapaksa also alleged that the protestors are insulting the Sri Lankan war heroes who fought against the Liberation Tigers for Tamil Eelam (LTTE) insurgents, asking the youths of the country to desist from the insults.

In an emotional appeal, Rajapaksa said, We ended the war (with LTTE) not to put the people of this country into this status, we constructed highways not to keep people in queues. We built ports not to idle oil ships in our ports until we find the dollars to pay for them. We will make all efforts to overcome this crisis.

My family and I have received more insults than anyone, but we are seasoned with such insults. But my dear sons and daughters, please do not harass the war heroes who saved our country from terrorism,” he added. Rajapaksa also used the occasion to reintroduce chemical fertilizer subsidies, which were revoked last year, in a disastrous attempt to make Sri Lanka’s agricultural sector 100 per cent organic.

This was not the best time to introduce the usage of carbonic fertiliser. We have decided to re-introduce the fertiliser subsidy,” he said. Targetting the Opposition, Rajapaksa said that although all parties represented in Parliament were urged to come forward to resolve the current crisis in the country, no one has come forward.

He also said that the ongoing crisis will not be resolved in a day or two and that all possible steps will be taken by the government to resolve the crisis. Our responsibility through a peoples’ mandate is to ensure that decisions are taken not to destroy the democratic ruling system in the country. We work towards that goal, the Sri Lankan Prime Minister said.

The speech comes at a time when the government is facing worldwide protests asking the PM and President to step down over the deteriorating economic situation in the country, Daily Mirror reported. Sri Lankans continue to protest against the government as the country faces an economic crisis.

This protest will not end until this govt is brought down. We will stay here for months, years. It’s not about a single-family but the entire corrupt system, a protester had said ahead of the address.

Earlier, amid the ongoing economic crisis in the country, eleven coalition allies of the Sri Lankan government and the independent group of former ruling party parliamentarians led by Anura Priyadarshana Yapa on Friday wrote to President Rajapaksa requesting the removal of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and the appointment of a new cabinet under a new PM.