Will appoint PM, cabinet 'without any Rajapaksa' this week: Sri Lankan President
Colombo, May 11: In address to the nation, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday announced that he will appoint a new Prime Minister and a Cabinet this week.
"Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa says he will appoint a new PM and cabinet this week. President also added that he is ready to abolish the executive presidency once the country stabiliseS," reported NewsWire.
President Gotabaya said that after appointing the new Prime Minister, and Government a constitutional amendment will be moved to enact the content of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which will vest more powers with Parliament.
''I will appoint a young cabinet without any of the Rajapaksas,'' Gotabaya said, as he started talks with political parties to stop the country from sliding into anarchy. Minutes before his address, Gotabaya held talks with former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
''The new government's Prime Minister will be given the opportunity to produce a new program and take this country forward,'' he added.
Sri Lanka has been without a government since the last two days.
Speaking on the violence, the President said what happened on Monday was very unfortunate. ''The murders, assaults, acts of intimidation, destruction of property, and the series of heinous acts that followed cannot be justified at all,'' he said.
Gotabaya said that the Inspector General of Police has been instructed to conduct investigations. He also said that Sri Lanka Police and Three-Armed Forces have been ordered to strictly enforce the law against those who cause violence.
''Steps will be taken to strictly enforce the law against those who planned, aided, promoted, and are connected to these events," Gotabaya said while urging everyone to maintain calm.
After nearly two days of political deadlock, the stakeholders are engaged in prolonged talks to try and appoint a successor to Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Mahinda, 76, resigned as prime minister on Monday amid unprecedented economic turmoil in the country, hours after his supporters attacked anti-government protesters, prompting authorities to impose a nationwide curfew and deploy Army troops in the capital. The attack triggered widespread violence against pro-Rajapaksa politicians.
The main Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), the ruling party dissidents and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa have been holding talks for the last two days without much success.