Protesters in Sri Lanka have carried on with their demonstrations entering a second day, blocking the entrance to the presidential office on Sunday demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
VOA reported that hundreds of protesters stood in heavy rain with raincoats and umbrellas, chanting anti-government slogans.
The protests have carried on as the country faces bankruptcy, burdened with $25 billion in foreign debt and diminishing foreign reserves.
Last week, Mr Rajapaksa revoked the state of emergency he earlier imposed on April 1.
Mr Rajapaksa’s actions gave powers to the military to carry out searches and arrests after his residence was besieged by protesters demanding his resignation.
Opposition lawmakers and some ruling party members refused to endorse the president’s state of emergency.
On Wednesday, legislators started a two-day debate on the current situation as protests continued outside the parliament, placed under heavy security.
Protests against the rising cost of living, fuel and gas shortages, and prolonged power cuts have begun since last Month.
The protests led to the cabinet’s resignation some days ago. Four ministers were sworn in as caretakers, but much of the key portfolios are vacant.
Mr Rajapaksa proposed creating a unity government, but the main opposition party rejected the idea.
So far, legislators have failed to resolve the crisis after nearly 40 governing coalition lawmakers said they would no longer vote according to coalition instructions, significantly weakening the government.
Remember your children while voting, Obi tells Lagos PDP delegates
Ex-Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State and presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party has advised Lagos State delegates to the party’s presidential primaries to remember their children while voting.
He made the appeal when he met with the delegates on Wednesday, urging them not to be deceived by “money bags”.
According to Obi who spoke in Ikeja, if the nation must move forward, there is the need to elevate merit, capacity and competence in leadership, which he possessed.
Obi said: “Your country is going through a big difficulty.
“What we have seen is the cumulative effects of leadership failure over the years.
“My dear people, those of you who are delegates, you will not be delegates forever.
“Remember, whatever you do with your votes, it can be heading to killing the society.
“I am appealing to you, it is time to sit up.
“This is the time to bring people with competence and capacity.
“Those of you who are delegates, please I am begging you, do not listen to me when you vote, don’t hear my voice, do not look at any of us, take the picture of your children and put it before you.”
He urged the delegates to consider the kind of society they wanted for their children, not any gratification.
Obi said that he was the most qualified for the job.
He said: “The fundamental reason for Nigeria’s challenges is because Nigeria is a consuming nation.
“It is not a producing nation.
“We are a ‘sharing’ nation.
“Wherever you go, all people want to do is about sharing.
“We have a sharing formula but we don’t have a producing formula.
“My job in this election is to plead with all of you and all Nigerians, let us move Nigeria from sharing and consumption to creative production.
“This country must be productive.
“It is about you and the future of this country and the future of our children.”
Obi said that many of the nation’s current challenges were tied to lack of productivity, adding that people must have jobs and means of livelihoods.
“The more we put people out of poverty the more you reduce criminality and violence. People must be engaged,” he said.
According to him, there is no problem in borrowing, but it must be for investment not consumption.
The Director-General of the Peter Obi Campaign Organisation, Dr. Doyin Okupe, said the former Anambra State Governor had an unrivalled pedigree in education, corporate governance, experience, character and integrity.
Okupe, who noted that Nigerians were waiting for Obi, said it would be fair, just and equitable to elect him.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event had in attendance Lagos PDP state and local government area executives among others.
Commendation, endorsement galore for Tinubu in Kwara, Benue
It was a festival of commendation and endorsement for All Progressives Congress National Leader and leading presidential aspirant, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in Kwara and Benue States on Tuesday.
This was during Tinubu’s visit to the two states to dialogue with party delegates to the APC presidential primaries.
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq expressed gratitude to the APC leader for helping to rescue the state from the hands of those who exploited her resources for selfish ends.
On their part, prominent leaders in Benue State commended Asiwaju Tinubu for being a trusted friend of the North Central state.
AbdulRazaq said: “We have not thanked you enough for helping us take power in this state in 2019.
“It was not about money.
“It was about the logistics, about the way you moved people around to make sure we succeed.
“Asiwaju kept his cards close to his chest, but the people who were defeated knew where the blow came from.”
The governor spoke at the Banquet Hall of the Government House, Ilorin, where he led APC delegates and leaders to endorse Asiwaju Tinubu for the presidency.
It was carnival-like as the delegates rose in unison to declare their support for the APC presidential aspirant in the upcoming presidential primaries of the party.
The governor was joined at the event by Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi; the party’s Chairman in the state, Prince Sunday Fagbemi; the three Senators from the state; and other leaders.
Recounting the rot that pervaded Kwara before his assumption of office, particularly in the area of education, Governor AbdulRazaq said disclosed that the state had not been accessing UBEC fund since 2013 because the initial fund released to the state could not be accounted for.
He added: “This means there was no meaningful investment in education since 2013.
“Today, we are in good standing.
“If you have the audacity to steal UBEC fund, you are not only stealing from the present generation, you are also stealing our children’s future.”
The governor described Tinubu as a committed democrat, true leader and successful private-sector businessman, adding: “From a single state, he conquered the whole of South West.
“Teaming up with Muhammadu Buhari, they won the whole of Nigeria in 2015.
“We have seen what he has done in Lagos.
“And he repeated the same feat for Nigeria.”
Tinubu commended Governor AbdulRazaq for his achievements in the state, describing him as an exceptional governor.
He said: “Before 2019, Governor AbdulRazaq did not get too involved in politics.
“He later committed himself to it to rescue Kwara from the then prevailing slide.
“Never will Kwara State slide back into the hands of termites again.
“We are coming with a lot of goodies for Kwara if elected president.
“I know how to do it better.
“I can chart the path to growth and development.”
Speaking at the palace of Emir of Ilorin, Dr. Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, Asíwájú Tinubu thanked the royal father for granting him bail as judge of the Court of Appeal when he was being prosecuted by the military for his pro-democracy activities.
He described the Emir as a fair-minded and incorruptible person who, as a judicial officer, dispensed justice with courage and objectivity.
In Benue State, Tinubu was received by former Senate President, Ameh Ebute; former Deputy Governor of the state, Chief Steven Lawan; Regina Akume, wife of former Governor of the state, Senator George Akume; and APC chairman in the state, Comrade Austen Agada.
Tinubu thanked the people of Benue State for being a bastion of progressive politics, while also extolling the virtues of late J.S. Tarka and Senator Akume.
He pledged his support for the party to win the state back to APC fold.
Joining Asíwájú on the trip to Benue and Kwara States were former Governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shettima; Chairman of TetFUND, Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim-Imam; former APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Isa-Onilu; former National Welfare Officer of the party, Alhaji Ibrahim Masari; and Hon. James Abiodun Faleke.