Printed on Thu Oct 06 2022 9:03:34 PM

President Rajapaksa rejected the demand for resignation

International desk
Rajapaksa, governing the country since 2019 with other family members in top positions, revoked a state of emergency late on Tuesday after five days as dozens of lawmakers walked out of the ruling coalition, leaving his government in a minority.

Sri Lankans have been suffering from shortages of fuel, power, food, medicines and other items for weeks, and doctors say the entire health system could collapse. Street protests began a month ago and have intensified in recent days, with people openly defying the emergency and a weekend curfew to demand the ouster of Rajapaksa.

“May I remind you that 6.9 million people voted for the president,” Highways Minister Johnston Fernando said in parliament in response to criticism from the opposition.

“As a government, we are clearly saying the president will not resign under any circumstances. We will face this.”

After Fernando’s speech, nearly 200 doctors, some in their blue scrubs, marched down a road by a national hospital in the commercial capital Colombo, chanting slogans against the government.

“The patients who are on chemotherapy, we have to monitor them carefully. Daily we have to monitor these investigations,” Samararathna said.

“So, if we can’t do it, we can’t decide the way forward. We can’t decide on the proper management. Sometimes our chemotherapy medicines are causing severe side effects, so the only way we have to find it is by doing these investigations.” He said cancer drugs such as Filgrastim and Cytarabine, as well as some antibiotics, were in short supply.

Vasan Ratnasingam, a doctor at Colombo’s Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, the largest such free-of-charge facility in Sri Lanka with some 2,000 beds, said they had run out of at least one vital drug, Digoxin, given for heart conditions.

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