Sri Lanka’s newly-elected President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday invited the political parties to form an all-party government to overcome the current economic crisis as the Parliament reconvened after a seven-day adjournment. President Wickremesinghe made the remarks while presenting the government’s policy statement during the third session of Parliament in accordance with the powers vested in him by Article 33 of the Constitution.
“All parties must get together to steer the country,” he told the lawmakers. Wickremesinghe also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for India’s support to his country in the tough times. He said the debt restructuring plan is in its final stages of being prepared and added that the economic restructuring plan would be outlined in the interim budget to be presented soon.
Following the presentation of the policy statement by the President, the House will be adjourned. Earlier, President Wickremesinghe was received in front of Parliament with a Tri Force Guard of Honour. Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena and the Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayaka welcomed the President at the main steps of the Parliament building. Wickremesinghe was elected President by lawmakers on July 20 – the first such occasion since 1978.
The 73-year-old President was appointed for the rest of the term of Gotabaya Rajapaksa who fled the country and resigned on July 13 in the face of a popular uprising against his government for mismanaging the island nation’s economy. Sri Lanka has seen months of mass unrest over the worst economic crisis, with the government declaring bankruptcy in mid-April by refusing to honour its international debt.