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President Rajapaksa removes his brother as PM of Sri Lanka to calm a soaring political situation

By wasmulhaq 
Updated Date

Sri Lanka has been passing through its worst possible economic crisis. People have to face all the hardships. They need to stand in a queue for hours to get essential items. A huge protest took place against President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, demanding his resignation.

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Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa said on Friday that he has finally decided to remove his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa as prime minister regarding the worst economic crisis in Sri Lanka. The president took this decision to end a political crisis that had arisen due to the economic difficulties.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa agreed that a national council will be appointed to name a new prime minister and a new cabinet comprised of all parties in Parliament, lawmaker Maithripala Sirisena said after meeting with the president.

Sirisena was a governing party lawmaker before defecting earlier this month, along with nearly 40 other legislators. Protesters who have crowded the streets since March hold them responsible for the crisis.

The Sri Lankan economy is on the brink of collapse and has announced it is suspending payments on its foreign loans. It has to repay $7 billion in foreign debt this year and $25 billion by 2026. Its foreign reserves stand at less than $1 billion.

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Dominance of both brothers in Sri Lanka’s politics 

President Rajapaksa and his family, including Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, have been the dominating force in Sri Lankan politics for the last 20 years. Protesters have been saying that they are both responsible for the worst possible economic crisis in the country since independence in 1948.

On Thursday, businesses were closed, teachers absent, and public transportation was disrupted as Sri Lankans heeded a call for a general strike to pressure the president to step down.

Rajapaksa earlier reshuffled his Cabinet and offered a unity government in an attempt to quell the protests, but opposition parties refused to join a government headed by the Rajapaksa brothers. The weak, divided opposition has been unable to form a majority and take control of Parliament on its own.

 

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