Sri Lanka’s president has agreed to replace his older brother as prime minister in a proposed interim government to solve a political impasse caused by the country’s worst economic crisis in decades, a prominent lawmaker said Friday.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa agreed that a national council will be appointed to name a new prime minister and Cabinet comprised of all parties in Parliament, lawmaker Maithripala Sirisena said after meeting with the president.
Sirisena, who was president before Rajapaksa, was a governing party lawmaker before defecting earlier this month along with nearly 40 other legislators.
Sri Lanka is near bankruptcy 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.
The foreign exchange shortage has severely limited imports, forcing people to wait in long lines to buy essentials such as food, fuel, cooking gas and medicine.
Rajapaksa and his family, including Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, have dominated nearly every aspect of life in Sri Lanka for most of the last 20 years. Protesters who have crowded the streets since March hold them responsible for the crisis.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.