Sri Lanka economic crisis: Gotabaya Rajapaksa sacks his brother as FM and Central Bank Governor resign as protests escalate in Sri Lanka
Latest news on the crisis in Sri Lanka: Reeling from the worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948, the island nation of Sri Lanka has seen major political developments that could pave the way for a resolution amid intense public outrage. From long queues at gas pumps to power cuts and soaring prices for everyday foodstuffs, the people of Sri Lanka are being hit hard by the crisis. While many have blamed the loan taken from China as the main reason, others have blamed poor decisions made by the Lankan government which have hurt the island nation’s economic growth. Here are the main Sri Lanka updates you should know about:
1: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday called on opposition members to take up government portfolios and find a solution to the economic crisis. The decision came after all 26 ministers submitted their resignations on Sunday evening. No reason was given for the massive resignation from the Lankan cabinet.
2: In another development, the Sri Lankan president has sacked the country’s finance minister, who is also his brother. The removal of Basil Rajapaksa as Lankan finance minister is seen as an attempt by the president to silence critics. Basil Rajapaksa was due to travel to the United States for the meeting with International Monetary Fund officials for a possible bailout.
3: Now Sri Lanka has a new finance minister. Ali Sabry, who was justice minister until Sunday, has been named the new finance minister.
4: The trend of senior officials resigning does not stop in Sri Lanka. Following the Cabinet Ministers, the current Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka also resigned from his post. Ajith Nivard Cabraal took to Twitter to make the official announcement. The 67-year-old is known as someone who strongly opposed IMF aid.
5: With the scarcity of foreign currency, Sri Lanka is deeply indebted and unable to pay for fuel imports, among other things. Nationwide protests also continued on Monday. In Tangalle, protesters smashed police barricades amid anti-Gotabaya Rajapaksa chants. Colombo Stock Exchange’s All Share Index remained in deep red after a brief green spike.
6: A PTI report says police used water cannons to quell the massive protest outside the house of the Prime Minister of Lanka. The PTI report indicates that more than 2,000 people had gathered to protest against the government and demand the resignation of Mahinda Rajapaksa.