May 17, 2022
COLOMBO – Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe said on Saturday that he would gradually turn around the difficult situation faced by families of the country and create a situation where they can feed themselves three times a day.He said so responding to a question posed by the BBC whether he had some kind of timeline for turning around the ailing economy, acute shortages and queues snaking through the roads for fuel, LP gas, milk powder etc.
“Whenever I functioned as prime minister of the country, I always ensured that people were able to have three meals a day. So I want to end this era of queues and shortages and create an environment where they can go back to their normal way of living,” he said.
When asked whether he would get the support of the parliament to do that, he said,”I will have the approval of the parliament to engage in the work that needs to be done. Some will support and some others will oppose it, but I am looking to get the support of everyone to achieve this objective urgently.”When asked whether he could get on well with the President to get his plans executed, he said,” I will do my part. I will act to restore the economy. I will help preserve the rights of the people. We have agreed that GotaGoHome should continue to exist. Now we are discussing the facilities we should give these youths to promote their cause. There’s another group which clamours ‘Ranil go home’. I’m a man who was born in Colombo, and this is my home, and I have no place else to go,” he said.Responding to a question on the May 9 incident that incited violence in many parts of the country he said, “I have told the IGP to take necessary action. I will follow up on the progress made into the investigations.”
Talking about the international support for Sri Lanka to get over the crisis situation he said,” I met with a number of ambassadors. I have a good rapport with them. So let’s see what can be done. We need to have discussions with the IMF as well. If we can get our macro economy in good shape and convey the message to the world that we are acting with proper fiscal discipline, other friendly countries will also step forward to help us.”
“I am going to change many of the policies of the Rajapakasa government,” he said.
“The next few weeks will turn out to be the most difficult period for us. Today the voice of the youth has emerged because of the issues they face. GotaGoGama is a symbol of that. We will preserve that site through the functioning of a committee and we should provide it the facilities it needs. These youths should administer that site, not the government. We have to support it. They have sent me eight proposals and I would like to discuss with them. We have to transform things by listening to them.”
Asked what his message to the internal community was, he said,” We need your support to get back on our feet. We need your financial assistance for a year. The funds we receive from you, we will certainly repay.”
Wickremesinghe in his message for the Vesak Full Moon Poya Day said, “As conveyed in Buddha’s preaching to the rulers of Licchavi Kingdom, Sri Lankans should also gather and take decisions in unity to come out of this crisis situation that has befallen the country.