"We will not allow our land to be destroyed thus. I pledge to rise as a broad front and salvage our motherland from this curse, he said.
The problem here is not about who is the prime minister, president, a minister or who runs the government. What matters is whether democracy and basic laws are preserved... Whether the decency of the country and the sovereignty of the people are preserved.
In recent times, I had to meet many challenges. I was insulted, rebuked... But I faced these challenges with patience, discipline and courtesy because I have always respected the public mandate. All parties of the UNF including the UNP and myself have conducted ourselves with this discipline. Because of this discipline and patience, we were able to steer the country forward in a balanced manner for three years. It was not an easy task. But look at the chaos that took place in the last two weeks... That is why I say a country should be ruled with responsibility, patience and discipline, he added.
Noting that he had always upheld democracy, Mr. Wickremesinghe said that he had been extremely patient in the last two years.
Quoting the president as to saying that murders could have taken place if parliament was convened, Mr. Wickremesinghe said that just like in Sri Lanka, heated situations have occured in parliaments of other countries as well. However, no murder has been committed in any parliament, he added.
Explaining that the youth of the country is largely disappointed in politics due to the chaos in the last two weeks, the UNP leader said, "Those who have the means are preparing to leave the country. There are a large portion who does not have the means to do so. They are are anxious about the future. This is a grave situation indeed. However, we will take measures to regain their shattered trust and to salvage the country from this unfortunate situation."
The full video of Mr. Wickremesinghe's speech is shown below :