Cabinet must take over Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 management: former PM Wickremesinghe
ECONOMIC NEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers must be empowered to face the COVID-19 crisis, which has deteriorated dramatically at a crucial moment, said former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
In a video message released to the media on May 10, Wickremesinghe urged both President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the cabinet to seek the support and input of opposition parties in parliament on this matter.
“If you do not act now, many lives will be lost. If you have sympathy for the public, the cabinet has to take over. There are [a level of] experience there, ”he said.
Wickremesinghe said the committee set up to monitor the disease situation in the country had failed and people had lost their trust.
“We are facing a serious situation today. Public health has taken a blow and COVID-19 is spreading across the country. There is a shortage of vaccines, oxygen, ventilators and hospital beds. The cases are increasing every day, ”he said.
“We are at a crucial point. If we don’t make decisions that incorporate expert medical advice, we will get into trouble, ”he said.
The United National Party (UNP) chairman cited a study by the University of Washington’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, warning that if the situation were allowed to escalate, Sri Lanka could suffer over 100 deaths a day through June and July.
“We all have to work together. This is not a fight to save face. It’s not a political fight. This is a fight to save lives, ”he said.
“We are not calling for a change of government. According to the constitution, responsibility for this lies with the cabinet. The President and the Cabinet of Ministers must accept all relevant powers, ”he added. (Colombo / May 10, 2021)