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SL Presidential flag axed, says Ranil

He vowed to safeguard the Constitution, not permit any action that violates it, and works together for the betterment of Sri Lanka.

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Colombo: Saying he will remain the Acting President of Sri Lanka until a new President is elected, Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday announced that the head of state will no more be addressed as “His Excellency” and also abolished the President’s flag.

Making a televised broadcast shortly after he was formally sworn in as the Acting President, Wickremesinghe said these were two key decisions he had taken since he assumed the presidency after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country following a mass uprising in the wake of the country’s worst economic crisis.

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He said Sri Lanka needed only the national flag, not the President’s flag.

He said steps were underway to present the necessary Bills in Parliament to reinstate the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

Steps have been taken to ensure that law and order were maintained in the country, he added.

Wickremesinghe also said there would be increased security for MPs as he alleged that attempts were being mounted to put pressure on them on electing a new President.

He reiterated that a committee comprising the three wings of the armed forces and police has been appointed to maintain peace in the country.

Wickremesinghe urged all parties to agree on a consensus to establish an all-party interim government.

He vowed to safeguard the Constitution, not permit any action that violates it, and works together for the betterment of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has been in political turmoil for weeks because of its worst economic crisis that has led to widespread shortages of even essential commodities like fuel, food, and medicines.

On Wednesday, four days after his official residence was overrun by anti-government protesters, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa flew out of Sri Lanka to The Maldives. On Thursday, he reached Singapore, from where he sent his resignation as the President.

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