Former Sri Lankan president claims to have taken ‘every possible step’ to avert economic crisis

Deposed President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who against his government, says he has taken “every possible step” to avert the economic crisis engulfing the island nation.
Rajapaksa emailed his resignation and it was passed by Parliament on Friday. After hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets of Colombo a week ago and occupied his official residence and offices, he flew to the Maldives and then to Singapore.
aviation sources that earlier attempts to leave had been rejected.
Sri Lanka’s parliament convened on Saturday to begin the process of electing a new president as a shipment of fuel arrived to provide some relief to the crisis-hit country.

During the meeting, Secretary General of the Sri Lankan Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake read out Rajapaksa’s resignation letter, the content of which was previously undisclosed.

Claims that economic problems arose before the presidency

In his letter, Rajapaksa says that Sri Lanka’s financial crisis is rooted in years of economic mismanagement leading up to his presidency, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, which has drastically reduced tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka and remittances from foreign workers.
“I personally believe that I have taken all possible steps to overcome this crisis, including inviting parliamentarians to form an all-party government or a government of national unity,” the letter says.
In April, Sri Lanka defaulted on its $51 billion (AU$75 billion) external debt.
The next meeting of Parliament will take place on Tuesday to accept nominations for the presidency. The vote on the choice of the leader of the country should take place on Wednesday.
Six-time prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, an ally of Rajapaksa and his party’s only representative in parliament, has so far been sworn in as acting president.
Wickremesinghe, who the protesters also want to remove, was chosen as the ruling party’s presidential candidate on Friday, in a move that could lead to further unrest if elected.
The opposition presidential candidate is Sajit Premadasa, and a potential dark horse is a senior MP from the ruling party, Dullas Alahapperuma.
More than 100 police and security personnel with machine guns were posted on the parliament’s driveway on Saturday, manning barricades and water cannons to prevent any unrest.
Columns of security forces patrolled another entrance to the parliament, although there were no traces of the protesters.
Street protests over the economic crisis in Sri Lanka continued for several months before erupting on July 9, when protesters accused the Rajapaksa family and his allies of rampant inflation, shortages of basic commodities and corruption.
Day-long queues for fuel have become the norm for the island nation of 22 million, while foreign exchange reserves have dwindled to near zero and headline inflation hit 54.6% last month.

Sri Lanka received the first of three batches of fuel on Saturday, Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said. These are the first deliveries to arrive in the country in about three weeks.