Sri Lanka president will not resign despite growing protests

Sri Lanka’s president will not resign and instead will face the country’s political and economic crisis, a key government minister said Wednesday despite the continuing huge protests that are demanding his resignation, Associated Press reported.

Sri Lanka has endured months of shortages of fuel and other essentials, and the protests over the economic troubles have spread nationwide and expanded to criticism of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his politically powerful family.

Rajapaksa has resisted the calls for him to resign even after members of his own coalition made them this week, with governing party lawmakers saying an interim government should replace his and failing to do so would make them responsible for violence.

Rajapaksa “will not resign. We will face this. We have the strength to face this. We are not afraid,” Minister of Highways Johnston Fernando told parliament Wednesday.

Hours earlier, Rajapaksa revoked the state of emergency that he had declared last week after crowds of protesters demonstrated near his home in the capital Colombo. The widely criticized emergency declaration had given him sweeping authority to act in the interests of public security, including suspending any laws, authorizing detentions and seizing property.

Sri Lanka’s president will not resign and instead will face the country’s political and economic crisis, a key government minister said Wednesday despite the continuing huge protests that are demanding his resignation.

Sri Lanka has endured months of shortages of fuel and other essentials, and the protests over the economic troubles have spread nationwide and expanded to criticism of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his politically powerful family.

Rajapaksa has resisted the calls for him to resign even after members of his own coalition made them this week, with governing party lawmakers saying an interim government should replace his and failing to do so would make them responsible for violence.

Rajapaksa “will not resign. We will face this. We have the strength to face this. We are not afraid,” Minister of Highways Johnston Fernando told parliament Wednesday.

Hours earlier, Rajapaksa revoked the state of emergency that he had declared last week after crowds of protesters demonstrated near his home in the capital Colombo. The widely criticized emergency declaration had given him sweeping authority to act in the interests of public security, including suspending any laws, authorizing detentions and seizing property.

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