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‘You can’t throw out a president’: Namal Rajapaksa on Sri Lanka crisis| EXCLUSIVE

Namal Rajapaksa, the son of former Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, said one cannot throw out a president as it will deepen political crisis. He also blamed the Opposition leaders for not taking responsibility of governing Sri Lanka during the country’s worst economic crisis.

Rajapaksa said, “People who are protesting against the government need to understand the democratic way. You can’t throw out the president. The president had to function without a government for over 48 hours. If the president resigns what next? We have opposition leaders who didn’t want to take responsibility. We have a clear road map now.”

Sri Lanka’s economic crisis escalated into civil unrest following the resignation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on May 9. Soon after Rajapaksa’s resignation, his supporters clashed with the anti-government protesters.

READ | How Rajapaksas, Sri Lanka’s civil war heroes, became villains of its worst crisis

The ancestral home of the politically-influential Rajapaksa family in Hambantota was set on fire by protesters. Eight people have died and around 250 people have been injured in the violence.

The Hambantota MP said allegations of government inciting violence are false. He stated that his family would remain in Sri Lanka and face investigation into violence that broke out between pro- and anti-government protesters in the streets of Colombo.

Speaking exclusively to India Today, “This is not the first time we have a travel ban. We had four travel bans during the last government too. No intention of running away. We want to work with people and remain in Sri Lanka. As an individual or family, we didn’t have a part to play in any violence. Allegations of us [ruling party] inciting violence are false. We will face investigation. “

“We have to come out of [economic] crisis. The PM resigned as per the demands of the people. At the same time, a chaotic situation prevailed because mobs were instigated by political-motivated groups,” he added.

Namal Rajapaksa, who is currently at a secured location in a naval base, said the country went without government for 24 hours and the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa won’t serve as a solution to the current crisis.

“There is a democratic way of transferring power. The 21st amendment will be worked and executive power will be abolished. President’s power will be reduced,” Rajapaksa said, backing the demand for Constitutional reforms.

In a late night televised address on May 11, President Gotabaya refused to quit but had promised to appoint a new Prime Minister and a young Cabinet which would introduce key constitutional reforms to curb his powers.

Gotabaya had said that after appointing the new Prime Minister, and Government a constitutional amendment will be moved to enact the content of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which will vest more powers with Parliament.

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