ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka opposition Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)-led National People’s Power (NPP) is ready to form a government by inviting 15 to 20 members of the current parliament for a new cabinet, NPP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said.
Speaking at a public rally in the north central district of Anuradhapura on Sunday June 26, Dissanayake said if President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe were to make way for the NPP, the party was ready to take over.
“Gotabaya and Ranil, if you hand this over tomorrow, we’re ready to accept it and build this country,” he said.
Sri Lanka is going through its worst ever forex crisis, which has given rise to unprecedented levels of anti-government sentiment as shortages of essentials and rising living costs bring people to the streets in furious protest almost on a daily basis. There has there been a temporary respite to the resultant political crisis since the appointment of Wickremesinghe as prime minister, but critics of the government are unhappy with the slow pace of progress.
The NPP, one of the harsher critics of the Rajapaksa-Wickremesinghe dispensation, has three MPs to its name, one of whom is a national list appointment. The JVP, the dominant partner in the NPP alliance, is a historically leftist party with Marxist-Leninist roots and has expressed ideological opposition to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), whose assistance Sri Lanka has formally sought.
“Give us the government. Let us form a cabinet the way we like, from within this parliament. If you let us in the NPP and 15 to 20 others from this parliament form a government – I won’t say we’ll form this government today and solve the crisis tomorrow; but we can set the country on a course to prevent children dying on the streets, to prevent the collapse of our economy.
“We’re ready to take it up,” said Dissanayake. (Colombo/Jun27/2022)