'IMF Aid To Come Soon, July Tough for Fuel Supply,' Says Sri Lanka's Acting Prez
He also urged political parties to come together and form an all-party government in the country.
Ahead of the presidential elections in the country, Sri Lanka's acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Monday, 18 July, announced that negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to aid the crisis-ridden nation, were nearing conclusion.
He was making a special statement on the measures that have been taken to resolve the ongoing turmoil in Sri Lanka when he added that discussions for assistance with foreign countries were also progressing.
The statement comes right after he declared a state of emergency in the country with immediate effect on Monday.
He further said that July will be difficult for fuel supply.
"However, diesel stocks have been secured and are being distributed while from the 21st of July petrol will also be distributed," he added.
Besides this, he:
Urged all political parties in the country to put aside their differences and form an all-party government in the country
Said that peaceful protesters who had legitimate concerns would be engaged by the government and solutions would be found for them
Requested the assistance of the United Kingdom government and their intelligence services for a complete investigation into the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks
Said that the gas shortage in the country has been resolved
Informed that since he assumed duties as PM, power cuts lasting five hours a day have been reduced to three hours a day
Mentioned that fertiliser has been provided to the farmers and loans taken by paddy farmers who have planted fields less than 2 acres have been cancelled
Meanwhile, on 15 July, Wickremesinghe had announced that the term 'His Excellency' will no longer be used for the president. He also abolished the president's flag "since the country needs only one national flag."
These key measures were a part of his plan to reinstate the 19th amendment to the country's constitution, which dilutes the powers of the executive presidency.
The six-time prime minister, who took over as acting president on 12 July, was officially sworn in to the post on 15 July. Former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who resigned on 14 July, fled the country to first go to Maldives and then to Singapore. A new president will be elected on 20 July.
What else did he say on Friday?
Measures are being taken for the new president, who will be elected next week, to present the 19th Amendment to Parliament
Increased security for MPs as they are being pressurised to elect a new president soon
A committee comprising tri-forces and police has been appointed to ensure law and order in the country
All parties have been urged to come to a common consensus on the establishment of an all-party interim government.
(With inputs from NewsWire.)
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