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Sri Lanka’s President Rajapaksa will not resign says Cabinet minister.

Cabinet Minister Fernando’s speech sparks the outrage, doctors also fury over medicine short supplies.


Sri Lanka’s minister said on Wednesday President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will not resign, despite heavy Nationwide protest.

Country is facing worst economic crisis in decades since March while doctors also fury over a shortage of medicine.

Rajapaksa, governing the country since 2019 with family members on 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.

The debt-laden country has been struggling to pay for imports due to a shortage of foreign exchange.

Sri Lankans have been suffering from shortages of fuel, power, food, drugs 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 and cries of “Go home Gota”.

“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 blue scrubs, marched on national hospital road in capital Colombo, chanting slogans and holding pla cards “Strengthen people’s right to live. Declare a health emergency.”

State-run Apeksha Hospital Cancer patient handler Malaka Samararathna who treats tens of thousands of cancer patients from across the country every year, said not only drugs but even chemicals used in testing were out of stock.

“The patients who are on chemotherapy, we have to monitor them carefully. Daily we have to monitor these investigations,” Samararathna added, Sri lankan Media reported.

“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 drugs are causing severe side effects, so the only way we have to find it is by doing these investigations.”

Cancer drugs mainly Filgrastim and Cytarabine, antibiotics, were in short supply he added.

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

“And other than that, 102 essential drugs are in shortage. Some of those drugs are frequently used, such as for respiratory tract infections, for urinary tract infections,” he said, warning doctors would have to stop routine treatments and surgeries if immediate action was not taken.

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