Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa agrees to remove brother as PM amid economic crisis
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa agreed to create a national council to pick a new prime minister and Cabinet composed of all parties in Parliament, congressman Maithripala Sirisena stated after meeting with the president.
A senior politician claimed Friday that Sri Lanka's president has agreed to replace his older brother as prime minister in a planned temporary government to resolve a political standoff created by the country's worst economic crisis in decades. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa agreed to create a national council to pick a new prime minister and Cabinet composed of all parties in Parliament, congressman Maithripala Sirisena stated after meeting with the president.
Before defecting with roughly 40 other MPs earlier this month, Sirisena, who was president before Rajapaksa, was a ruling party politician. Sri Lanka is on the verge of bankruptcy and has placed a moratorium on payments on its foreign debts. It must repay $7 billion in foreign debt this year, with a total of $25 billion due by 2026. Its foreign reserves are less than a billion dollars.
Because of the foreign exchange scarcity, imports have been severely restricted, causing people to wait in lengthy queues to purchase necessities such as food, gasoline, cooking gas, and medicine.
For the majority of the previous two decades, Rajapaksa and his family, notably Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, have dominated practically every area of life in Sri Lanka. Protesters who have been occupying the streets since March blame them for the catastrophe. Businesses were shuttered, teachers were missing, and public transit was disrupted on Thursday as Sri Lankans responded to a demand for a countrywide strike to put pressure on the president to resign.
In an attempt to stop the demonstrations, Rajapaksa reshuffled his Cabinet and proposed a unity government, but opposition parties refused to join a government led by the Rajapaksa brothers. The opposition, which is weak and split, has been unable to build a majority and seize control of Parliament on its own.