Ranil slams people with ‘Hitler-like mindset’
Reacting publicly for the first time after his private house was set on fire by anti-government protesters on Saturday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday said only people with a “Hitler-like mindset” torch buildings.
In a special televised statement, Wickremesinghe said he accepted the post of Prime Minister as the economy was in disarray. Wickremesinghe, 73, said he took over the difficult task to rebuild the economy at a time when the public was undergoing hardships without fuel, cooking gas, and electricity.
“The cost of living was high, no fuel, and there was a foreign exchange crisis. People were losing jobs. I saw the suffering of the people,” he said.
Commenting on the arson attack by the protesters on his house on Saturday, he said only people with a “Hitler-like mindset” torch buildings and said there was a “background event” that led to what transpired that night.
He said a miscommunication by way of a tweet by a Muslim party leader that he had objected to forming an all-party government and refused to resign had triggered the arson attack on his house. Although he corrected it by saying he was ready to resign after the formation of an all-party government, a television station instigated the public to surround his house.
He said that he postponed all the meetings held on July 9 and stayed at home, and then the police asked him to leave the house as there was a possibility of disturbance.
He said that this house was the only one he had in Sri Lanka and abroad and now it’s burnt. Because of this, Ranil said he and his wife left home in the evening. “My only house was set on fire. I had 2,500 books in my library, my only asset. There were over 200-year-old valuable paintings. All of them destroyed,” he said. He said he had agreed with his wife to donate all the books collected over time to a Lankan college.