Ready to accept party leaders' decision: SL President

Colombo, July 9 (IANS) Making his stance clear for the first time amid massive public pressure to step down, Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that he would respect any decision taken at the party leaders' meeting scheduled on Saturday evening.
 
Ready to accept party leaders' decision: SL President

<br>Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that Rajapaska has informed him that he would stand by any decision taken by the party leaders, who are scheduled to meet on Saturday evening.

Amid the collapse of the country's economy, since March 31 people have taken to the streets demanding the resignation of Rajapaksa. The continuous public protests were controlled violently, but it forced then Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and all his family members in politics to step down.

With no plans to import fuel, the country has been closed for two weeks since June 27, even as people planned July 9 as the day to remove Rajapaksa. Thousands marched to Colombo on Saturday from all over the country, demanding President and Prime Minister's resignation.

After taking over the President's official residence and office in Colombo, the protesters have also taken control Temple Trees, the official residence of the Prime Minister.

Despite the police and the military using teargas, rubber bullets and water cannons, besides firing in the air, people in large numbers forced into the heavily-guarded President's house on Saturday.

--IANS<br>sfl/arm