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,Sri Lanka crisis: President Rajapaksa invites Oppn to join govt - 10 latest updates
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Sri Lanka crisis: President Rajapaksa invites Oppn to join govt - 10 latest updates
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Sri Lanka, the island nation, is under its worst economic crisis led by fuel, power, and essentials shortages, pushing citizens to the streets who are protesting against the administration. Almost all the cabinet ministers of the ruling government have resigned, leading to policy paralysis in the country. Amid this, Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fired his brother and Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa. He has now invited the Opposition parties to join a unity Cabinet to tackle the raging public anger against the hardships. India has extended a helping hand to the neighbouring nation with its economic relief package, which will help in improving the current electricity shortage in the country. Basil, ex-Sri Lankan Finance Minister had negotiated the Indian economic relief package. Ali Sabry, Minister of Justice, has replaced Basil as the new Foreign Minister.
Basil Rajapaksa was scheduled to leave for the US to meet with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a possible bailout package to get over the unprecedented economic crisis, but has been sacked now. He was at the center of anger within the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) coalition. Last month, at least two ministers were sacked from the Cabinet as they publicly criticised Basil.
On Sunday night, all 26 Cabinet Ministers submitted letters of resignation. After the resignation of the Cabinet Ministers, at least three other new ministers were sworn in.
GL Peiris has been sworn in as the Foreign Minister while Dinesh Gunawardena is the new Education Minister. Johnston Fernando has been made the new Minister of Highways.
The new appointments came after President Gotabaya invited all political parties to join a unity Cabinet as part of the government’s bid to tackle the raging public anger against the ongoing hardships caused by the island nation’s worst economic crisis.
The public thronged the streets asking the president to resign. The protests triggered the imposition of curfew after a state of emergency was declared by the President. When the protests intensified, the government clamped a social media ban for 15 hours on Sunday.
The people defied the curfew to protest against long queues for fuel and gas and long hours without electricity. Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal has also announced his resignation. Cabraal, 67, was blamed for his rigid stance on Sri Lanka seeking an economic bailout through an IMF structural adjustment facility.
Despite his opposition, the government in the last fortnight approached the international lender for support. During his governorship, the Central Bank was accused of printing large volumes of money, triggering inflation.
He was blamed for his rigid stance on Sri Lanka seeking an economic bailout through an International Monetary Fund (IMF) structural adjustment facility.
The country is grappling with what is said to be its worst economic crisis since independence from the UK in 1948. It is caused in part by a lack of foreign currency, which is used to pay for fuel imports.
India recently announced to extend a USD 1 billion line of credit to Sri Lanka as part of its financial assistance to the country to deal with the economic crisis following a previous USD 500 billion line of credit in February to help it purchase petroleum products.
(With inputs from PTI)
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