Sri Lanka president revokes emergency order amid deepening crisis | Protests News
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa canceled the state of emergency after dozens of MPs left the ruling coalition.
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa canceled the state of emergency after dozens of MPs left the ruling coalition that was struggling to quell protests over the economic downturn.
In another setback for the administration on Tuesday, Finance Minister Ali Sabry resigned a day after his appointment and ahead of key negotiations scheduled with the International Monetary Fund over a new program. loan program.
Rajapaksa dissolved his Cabinet on Monday and sought to form a unity government as unrest in the community increased over the ruling family’s handling of a debt-ridden economy. to shortages of food, medicine and fuel, as well as prolonged power cuts.
In a gazette released late on Tuesday, Rajapaksa revoked the emergency rule decree that went into effect last Friday.
Sabry said in his resignation letter to the president that he believed he was “acting in the best interest of the country”.
“At this critical juncture, the country needs stability to weather the financial crisis and current difficulties,” he said in a letter seen by Reuters news agency, offering to resign from his post. Parliament of Sri Lanka if the president wants in a person from outside to replace him.
Street protest against food and fuel shortages, caused by a lack of foreign exchange for imports, which began last month but has increased in recent days, leading to clashes between protesters and police in some cases.
Dozens of protesters gathered peacefully near the prime minister’s residence on Tuesday.
The names of the 41 MPs leaving the coalition have been announced by party leaders in Parliament.
They have now become independent members, leaving Rajapaksa’s government with fewer than the 113 members needed to maintain a majority in the 225-member house.
The results of the vote count are not yet available, although Rajapaksa’s minority government may find decision-making more difficult. However, independent MPs can continue to support the domestic government’s proposals.
“There are countless shortages of necessities including fuel and gas. Hospitals are on the verge of closing because there is no cure,” Maithripala Sirisena, leader of the Sri Lanka Liberal Party who withdrew support for Rajapaksa’s coalition, told Parliament.
“At that time, our party sided with the people.”
Sirisena called on the president and prime minister to present a clear plan to resolve Sri Lanka’s financial turmoil.
But the opposition parties – reflecting the mood of the protests sweeping the country of 22 million people – urge two brothers to step down. The third brother, Basil Rajapaksa, stepped down as finance minister on Sunday.
Opposition parties have also rejected a move to form a unified government that includes all parties represented in Parliament.
In another sign of the desperate funding shortfall, Sri Lanka has announced the temporary closure of its embassies in Oslo and Baghdad, and the consulate general in Sydney, as of April 30.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was restructuring the diplomatic mission of Sri Lanka due to “economic situation and foreign currency difficulties that the country faces”.
The Government Medical Officers Association, which represents more than 16,000 doctors across the country, says there is a severe shortage of medicines, including life-saving drugs.