Sri Lanka’s cabinet ministers have resigned amid the country’s worst economic crisis in decades.
All 26 ministers, except for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his older brother, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, resigned during a late night meeting on Sunday, Education Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said.
The development came as the South Asian nation faces serious shortages of food, fuel and other essentials in “its most painful downturn since independence from Britain in 1948,” he said The guard.
Sri Lanka has been struggling with a worsening economic crisis for several weeks. The problems are partly caused by a lack of foreign currency, which the country uses to pay for fuel imports.
“With power outages lasting half a day or more and shortages of food, medicine and fuel, public anger has reached new heights,” he said BBC. The shortages caused by the currency crisis have resulted in long lines forming outside shops and petrol stations, and some people dying while waiting.
“For weeks,” he said CNN, “Life in Sri Lanka involved queuing for hours just to get basic necessities needed for survival”. The President declared a state of emergency on April 1.
the Covid-19 pandemic also caused problems for Sri Lanka’s tourism-dependent economy as the country closed its borders and imposed lockdowns and curfews. The holiday industry has already been badly affected Bombings on Easter Sunday 2019in which more than 250 people died in churches and hotels.
Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa has called the incumbent government “evil” and blamed it for many of the country’s economic woes, he said The Independent.
Public anger boiled over last week and Sri Lanka Police imposed a curfew and fired tear gas at demonstrators protesting outside the President’s house. Some demonstrators had breached barricades and were later described by the President as “extremist elements”.
The curfew, which prohibited anyone from being on a public road, in a park, on trains or on the seafront unless they had written permission from authorities, was flouted by thousands of people across the country on Sunday.
The Department of Defense has also caused anger by shutting down access to Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and YouTube after social networks became the hub for spreading information about the planned protests and expressing anger about the crisis, it noted Nike Asia.
Sri Lanka’s “Arab Spring”
The resignation of the cabinet is not expected to quell public anger. The protesters “say they will not stop until Mr. Rajapaksa resigns,” said Rajini Vaidyanathan, who BBC’s Correspondent for South Asia.
He added that the “ground wave of anti-government sentiment” “unites people of all backgrounds, creeds and ages.”
In fact, there is already anger that the president and his family, blamed for the situation, will remain in power after the resignations. Described the situation on Twitter, Ranga JayasuriyaHe, a journalist, said it was a “sick joke”.
The Sri Lankan Freedom Party announced last week that it would withdraw from the ruling coalition unless the government acts to “alleviate the economic crisis, after which new elections will have to be called”. Several other parties in the governing coalition are calling for an interim government composed of all 11 parties represented in the legislature.
Bloomberg reported that the central bank governor has also tendered his resignation ahead of an expected decision on interest rates tomorrow. The loss of Ajith Nivard Cabraal is notable as he helped more than triple the size of Sri Lanka’s economy during his first term between 2006 and 2015, according to the bank BBC reported.
Meanwhile, said Reuters, this crisis “sends a warning worldwide”. Whether other countries “react quickly to rising prices with tax cuts or increase subsidies,” wrote Una Galani, Sri Lanka’s “rapid resolution warns of the political risks of complacency.”
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/world-news/956319/why-sri-lankas-entire-cabinet-resigned-over-economic-crisis Why the entire Sri Lankan cabinet resigned over the economic crisis