Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa

Newly-appointed Sri Lankan PM calls for Provincial Council polls

ANI | Updated: Oct 28, 2018 22:57 IST

Colombo [Sri Lanka], Oct 28 (ANI): Amid political turmoil brewing in Sri Lanka, newly-appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has called for Provincial Councils elections and Parliamentary election at the earliest. 
Rajapaksa, in a statement, asserted that the elections will give people the opportunity to vote for a program that will bring the country out of the all-encompassing economic, political and social crisis that it is now in being witnessed.
Rajapaksa also assured the citizens that he will eschew the politics of hate and set up an interim government that will protect the human rights of all citizens, the independence of the judiciary and establish law and order in the country. The Prime Minister has also urged all people across religions to extend support to this political exercise, which, he claims, is extremely essential. 
With regards to the alleged plot to kill president Maithripala Sirisena and the former Defence Secretary, Rajapaksa said, “Details of a plot to assassinate the President and the former Defence Secretary have come to light. Those involved in this conspiracy are being exposed by their own actions. A wave of crime has hit the country and the criminal underworld is on the rise.”
Elaborating upon the fall of the former government and his reason for the acceptance of the post, Rajapaksa explained, “The United National Party (UNP) - United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government came to an end as the result of the UPFA leaving the coalition. The responsibility of appointing a new government then fell on the President. I was invited to accept the position of Prime Minister with a view to forming a new government.”
The Prime Minister also mentioned the troublesome situation of the economy and the deteriorating condition of the rupee. He further substantiated his concern by stating, “Our country has been downgraded by the credit rating agencies. The people are oppressed by the ever-rising cost of living. The Central Bank bond scam of the UNP government has resulted in a doubling of the interest rate and the ordinary people and businesses alike have been severely affected.”
Meanwhile, Indian Ministry of External Affairs asserted that it would continue to extend development assistance to the people of Sri Lanka amid an unprecedented constitutional crisis in the island nation.
Rajapaksha, who served as Lanka's President for a period of 10 years, from 2005 to 2015, is a fierce political opponent of the current President Sirisena. The latter had defeated Rajapaksha in the Presidential election of 2015. (ANI)