President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had to leave the Parliament Chamber amid booing and slogans being chanted at him by the Opposition yesterday (5).
The Parliament sitting was adjourned for 10 minutes following the Opposition’s protest against the President.
The President, who arrived at the Parliament complex, was welcomed by Leader of the House Dinesh Gunawardena and ruling party MPs yesterday (5) morning.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was presenting the road map with proposed solutions to the existing economic issues to Parliament at the time. The President listened to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s speech on the economy and the progress of the discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
When Wickremesinghe in a sarcastic tone challenged Jathika Jana Balawegaya (JJB) Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake to take the Premier post for 6 months if the latter has a proper plan to recover the collapsed economy, the Opposition started to protest against President Rajapaksa, demanding his resignation.
They chanted “Gota Go Home” and “Wada barinam gedara yanna” (Go home if you can’t govern properly) while holding placards. Although Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena tried to calm them down, the protest continued.
Wickremesinghe continued his speech. The President and Wickremesinghe were seen smiling slightly as they were watched the protest.
After a while, a group of ruling party MPs including S.B. Dissanayake and Mahindananda Aluthgamage approached the President’s chair. Minister Prasanna Ranatunga was seen shouting back at the Opposition.
Former Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa was seen standing up and smiling. He remained silent.
The Speaker, after several attempts to restore order, announced that he was adjourning the sitting for 10 minutes.
Even after that, the Opposition continued the protest until the President left the Chamber.
By Methmalie Dissanayake