Seek to help rebuild SL, but only if Govt. has public mandate
BY Buddhika SamaraweeraA group of Sri Lankans living in Japan organised a protest against President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who left the country for Japan to attend the funeral of the slain former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday (26).Speaking to The Morning, a Sri Lankan living in Japan said that nearly 100 Sri Lankans currently engaged in employment and higher educational activities in Japan participated in the protest held on Monday morning against the President and the Government of Sri Lanka.They protested by holding placards with various slogans written in both the Japanese and Sinhala languages. Slogans such as “Come forward, let’s chase the Wickremesinghe-Rajapaksa (a reference to former Presidents Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Mahinda Rajapaksa) regime away”, “Listen to the people – Wickremesinghe, go home”, “Wickremesinghe has no mandate”, “Fight against oppression – our fight is peaceful”, and “Give space to the people’s opinion – hold elections” were written on the placards that the protestors were carrying.Those who participated in the protest said that since Wickremesinghe does not have the people’s mandate to hold that position, he should hold an election immediately to elect the type of governance the people expect. They stated that Sri Lankans living in countries all over the world are ready to provide the necessary support to rebuild Sri Lanka, under a Government that is appointed democratically.President Wickremesinghe left the country on Monday on an official tour to Japan and the Philippines. The President’s Media Division (PMD) stated that the President will attend Abe’s state funeral and hold bilateral talks with incumbent Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and several Ministers, prior to heading to the Philippines.Early this year, Sri Lankans living in many countries protested demanding the resignation of then-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Wickremesinghe became the President with the support of the members of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) through a Parliamentary vote for the Presidency vacated by Rajapaksa who resigned following massive public protests. Under the Wickremesinghe-led Government, a number of activists involved in public protests have been arrested and tear gas and water cannons have been fired at almost every protest held in Colombo recently.