The beleagured Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on Sunday called on all lawmakers to unite and work immediately to address the people’s pressure as the country is in the “terrible straight” of its worst economic crisis.
Speaking on the occasion of Vesak Poya Day, the President said: “We must be aware of the current situation and unite around a program that can provide a fair resolution to all.”
Vesak Poya Day commemorates the birth, acquisition and death of Lord Buddha. Three events in his life are said to have taken place on the same date.
“… Resilience is essential in difficult situations. At this time, when the country is in dire straits, all people’s representatives must immediately work together to find a solution for all citizens. The real goal should be to reach the desired goal, not deviate from the initial goal,” .
Newly-appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also issued a message on the occasion, emphasizing that the promise to restore human life is a promise to Lord Buddha.
Noting that restraint and stability should be restored in Sri Lanka, the Prime Minister emphasized that the Buddha’s Dhamma, which has the most valuable philosophical meaning, also serves as a de facto state political guide.
On Saturday, four ministers were appointed to the cabinet but opposition parties refused to be part of the all-party government.
Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa said in his message that Lord Buddha conveyed to the world the message of improving the world through benevolence instead of ambition, opportunism and selfishness.
He mentioned that the teachings of Lord Buddha can be applied in modern life as well.
The Indian High Commission in Colombo greets all Sri Lankans on the occasion of Vesak Poya Day.
“The Indian High Commission wishes a blessed #Vesak # Poya Day,” the mission tweeted.
Sri Lanka is going through the worst economic crisis since independence in 1948. A crippling deficit in foreign reserves has led to long lines for fuel, cooking gas and other necessities, while power outages and rising food prices have taken a toll on the population.
The economic crisis triggered a political crisis in Sri Lanka and the demand for the resignation of the powerful Rajapaksa.
President Rajapaksa fired his cabinet and appointed a young cabinet in response to his resignation. Protests have been going on in front of his secretariat for more than a month.
On Monday, Mahinda Rajapaksa, the elder brother of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, resigned as prime minister to pave the way for the president to appoint an interim all-party government. On Thursday, Bikram Singh was appointed as the new Prime Minister of the country.