Colombo, July 15 (UNI) Sri Lanka’s Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday accused “insurgents” of infiltrating the anti-government protests plaguing the country and of trying to create unrest in the island nation next week.
In a televised speech soon after he was formally sworn in as the Acting President, Wickremesinghe also said that he had done away with the President’s flag and the long-standing custom of addressing the Head of State as “His Excellency”. Sri Lanka only needs the national flag, he said.
“It is the insurgents who have taken away the weapons of two policemen and have injured 24 army personnel. These insurgents are trying to create unrest next week. We cannot allow it. Unrest will lead to economic turmoil as distribution of essential items such as food, fuel and gas will come to a standstill.
“Therefore, I have appointed a committee comprising service commanders and IGP (Inspector General of Police). They are in charge of maintaining law and order.”
“I also invite all parties to come to an agreement to form an all-party government. It’s time to forget political aspirations of individuals. There should be a country for us to engage in politics. Therefore, I invite all political parties to be a part of the process of rebuilding the nation,” he said.
Sri Lanka is confronting widespread shortages of even essential commodities like fuel, food and medicines in the wake of its worst economic crisis that has left the country without any foreign exchange to import what the people need.