‘We’re watching you’: Protesters head to Sri Lankan Parliament ahead of presidential election

When protesters burned an effigy of Sri Lankan president Ranil Wickremesinghe outside the presidential office, the message from the protest streets to the Sri Lankan Parliament was clear: we are watching you.

On the eve of the Parliament meeting to elect a new president of Sri Lanka, the protesters, under the banner of the Union of University Students, assembled once again to impress as the MPs voted. for a corruption-free and relic-free Sri Lanka of the Rajapaksa era.

”We are watching all the MPs. Our work is only half done with the overthrow of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. That’s step one. Ranil Wickremesinghe is also considered part of the same environment. We want to rest clean. Therefore, the future of our Janatha Aragalya (people’s protest) struggle depends on who our leaders choose’, said Visaka Jayaveera, a teacher and a protest leader love in Colombo said.

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Armored aircraft carriers, commandos, soldiers with assault rifles and police behind multiple barricades have been set up to keep Parliament safe from protesters.


Ranil Wickremesinghe, the six-time prime minister of Sri Lanka, was seen as the frontrunner in these elections until a few days ago. But the day before the vote, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa withdrew his candidacy in favor of Dullas Alahapperuma, making him the Opposition candidate with the support of several SLPP leaders, throwing a flag. into Wickremesinghe’s plan.

Premadasa tweeted, “For the greater good of my country I love and those I love, I withdraw my candidacy for President. SJB and our coalition and opposition partners Our team will work hard to make Dallas win.”

Analysts say that Sajith Premadasa is uncertain about the numbers and needs a lot of convincing before he can take his hat off. Placing his weight behind Alahapperuma may be part of a larger plan for future consolidation, but his withdrawal will disappoint the minorities who support him.

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Now it’s a trio contest between Ranil Wickremesinghe, Dullas Alahapperuma and Anura Kumara Dissanayake. With Sajith Premadasa withdrawing from the competition, it is expected to go down the wire in the 225-member Sri Lankan Parliament between Wickremesinghe and Alahapperuma.

Wickremesinghe’s name was suggested by Dinesh Gunawardena, leader of the ruling party in Parliament. Wickremesinghe, analysts argue, is leading in a three-truth competition with most of the ruling SLPP lawmakers backing him. He also spoke of a road map to secure food, fuel and gas supplies and stated negotiations with the IMF were at an advanced stage to secure a bailout.

Dullas Alahaperuma is a former journalist and former education minister. In addition to the support of Sajith Premadasa, he also has the support of GL Peiris, chairman of the governing coalition in the parliamentary SLPP.

However, SLPP Secretary General Sagara Kariyawasam decided to support Wickremesinghe, a clear sign of the rift in the ruling coalition. Witnessing anger rising in the streets, MPs are seen as trying to distance themselves from the stain of corruption in Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

In a secret ballot, it will be very interesting to see who the party’s MPs will vote for, especially at a time when student protesters and unions have warned about seeing the results to decide their next course of action and vote for who comes next. elections.

Anura Kumara Dissanayeke is the leftist leader of the JVP, the people’s front. He is considered a fiery leftist leader, having served as agriculture minister in 2004 when Chandrika Kumaratunga was President of Sri Lanka.

In the 225-member Congress, whichever candidate secures the highest number of votes polled would be president for the remainder of the current presidential term until November 2024. Ideally. 113 out of 225 would be the landmark, but the process is more complicated if no clear winner appears to hit the target. After that, the first preference votes of the candidate with the least number of votes and eliminated will take effect.

With angry protesters watching developments in the Sri Lankan Parliament, the present remains uncertain while the future tenses.

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