Sri Lankan Parliament to discuss no-confidence motion against President Rajapaksa on May 17

New Delhi: The Sri Lankan parliament will debate a no-confidence motion against President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on May 17, the president’s office confirmed on Thursday, amid the ongoing political turmoil caused by the worst economic crisis in the debt-ridden country.

The decision was taken at a meeting of party leaders on Thursday.

The Daily Mirror newspaper reported that the proposal would be brought up for debate after getting special approval from Parliament.

Speaking at a press conference after the meeting of party leaders in the Parliament complex, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abhaywardene said the proposal submitted by the leaders would be prepared and submitted to the President.

Proposals, including the formation of a stable government and the security of members of parliament, would be submitted to President Rajapaksa.

MP MA Sumanthiran stressed that a stable government is necessary for the country to move forward.

Sumanthiran said a stipulated time period has not been given for the President’s resignation, but action should be taken soon regarding the appointment of the Prime Minister, the News First website reported.

MP Mano Ganesan said that no one should suddenly intervene and take the post of prime minister, and the president should respect the repeated calls by the people for his resignation, the report said. has gone.

Sri Lanka’s main opposition party, the SJB, announced on Friday that it would bring a no-confidence motion against President Rajapaksa’s government and would seek to impeach the beleaguered leader if it fails to address the public’s problems due to the worst economic crisis. is ready. ,

As protests continued across the country, demanding the resignation of the President and the entire Rajapaksa family from the government, opposition leader Sajith Premadasa also called for the abolition of the working president’s post, saying that power should be vested in the executive, legislature and judiciary. should be divided between

The leader of Samagi Jana Balvegaya (SJB) told parliament, “The government should heed the public’s demand for Rajapaksa to step down, otherwise we will bring a no-confidence motion.”

Premadasa said he could not agree to an interim government with Rajapaksa remaining as president.

The SJB said it was also ready to impeach the President.

He also presented a set of proposals on behalf of the SJB to Parliament to address the economic crisis in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence from Britain in 1948.

Clashes broke out on Monday after supporters of the government attacked peaceful anti-government protest sites in Colombo and elsewhere, killing at least eight people and injuring more than 200.

Sri Lanka’s worst economic crisis has sparked widespread protests calling for political reform and the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

On 1 April, President Rajapaksa imposed a state of emergency, lifting it five days later.

The government re-imposed a state of emergency on May 6, which was postponed until May 17, after police fired tear gas and arrested students protesting near Parliament.

Although the protests have been fairly peaceful, police fatally shot a protester on 19 April, and used tear gas and water cannons against the protesters on several occasions.

The government has made several arrests and repeatedly imposed curfews.

The political crisis began in late March when people hurt by prolonged power cuts and essential shortages took to the streets demanding the government’s resignation.

President Rajapaksa dismissed his cabinet and appointed a youth cabinet in response to demands for his resignation.

There has been a continuous sit-in in front of his secretariat for more than a month.

Last Monday, his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned as prime minister to find a way for the president to appoint an interim all-political party government.

Sri Lankan authorities on Wednesday deployed troops and military vehicles on the streets to ensure public safety in the capital amid nationwide protests over the government’s failure to deal with the worst-ever economic crisis.

The deployment comes a day after the country’s defense ministry ordered army, air force and navy personnel to shoot at anyone who loots public property or harms others amid violent protests in the island nation over the unprecedented economic crisis. .