Sri Lanka Crisis: Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene raise their voice against regime

PTIUpdated: Monday, April 04, 2022, 09:10 PM IST
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Mahela and Sangakkara during their Sri Lanka playing days | File Photo

They sweated it out together in Sri Lankan colours on the 22 yards and the iconic duo of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara again joined forces to launch a scathing attack on the country's political establishment as it battles one of its worst financial crisis.

Sri Lanka is currently in the midst of a deep financial and political crisis with people getting on the streets to protest against skyrocketing prices of essentials like food, fuel and medicine, even as the country's current foreign reserve plummeted to $2.1 billion.

There have been fervent calls for resignation of President Gotabaya Rakapaksa, who is still occupying the chair.

A slew of poor financial decisions led to the disastrous situation and Jayawardene and Sangakkara, in their social media statements, didn't mince words while criticising the government.

"Sri Lankans are going through one of the toughest times imaginable. It is heartbreaking to see the despair of people and families as they struggle to make it through the day; and each day for them gets harder.

"The people are raising their voices and asking for what is needed: a solution," the eloquent Sangakkara, who is currently with IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals as their mentor, wrote on his Instagram page.

Sangakkara urged the government to listen to the people and keep their "destructive political agendas" aside.

"While some are reacting in resentment and anger to that voice, others are trying to take undue advantage of it. The right choice is to listen to people, put aside destructive personal and political agendas, and act in best interests of Sri Lanka." The essence of Sri Lanka is its people, said the former skipper.

"The people are not enemy. Sri Lanka is its people. Time is running out fast, the people and their future must be protected and provided for." With people on the streets and police using force to disperse the protesting public, Jaywardene wants the leaders to own up their mistakes.

"I'm sad to see emergency law and curfew in Sri Lanka. The government cannot ignore the needs of the people who have every right to protest. Detaining people who do is not acceptable and I am very proud of the brave Sri Lankan lawyers who rushed to their defence," Jayawardene wrote.

"True leaders own up to mistakes. There is massive urgency here to protect the people of our country, united in their suffering. These problems are man-made and can be fixed by the right, qualified people." In no uncertain terms, the stylish batter of yesteryears said that Rajapaksa and Co need to step down.

"Certain people controlling the economy of this country have lost the people's confidence and must stand down. We then need a good team to give the country confidence and belief," he added.

Their former teammate and one of the leading ICC match referees of his time, Roshan Mahanama, took to the streets against what he termed "power hungry leaders" of their country.

"Today I joined a protest in my neighbourhood as I see it as my duty to show my support towards the innocent people of our motherland, who are on a path to fight against the power hungry leaders of our country." Among the younger crop of players, Punjab Kings batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa said: "Even though I am many miles away, I can feel the anguish of my fellow Sri Lankans as they struggle to make it through each day." Rajapaksa believed that when 22 million voices come together, it is difficult for any government to think of them as their enemy.

"Now they have found their most fundamental rights suppressed, in an effort to quell their voices. But when 22 million voices rise as one, it cannot be ignored."

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