Cabinet Resigns en Masse After Food and Fuel Shortages, Protests

Almost the entire Sri Lankan authorities’s Cabinet — aside from the nation’s president and prime minister — resigned from their posts on Sunday amid Sri Lanka’s worsening financial disaster, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported on Monday.

“All 26 ministers in the Cabinet aside from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his elder brother Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa submitted letters of resignation at a late-night meeting,” Sri Lanka Education Minister Dinesh Gunawardena instructed reporters on April 3.

Sunday’s Cabinet reshuffle cleared the best way for Sri Lanka’s president to nominate new Cabinet ministers on Monday or just reappoint established members to new positions. Al Jazeera reported on April 4 of the adjustments made by Rajapaksa to Sri Lanka’s Cabinet within the wake of Sunday’s mass resignation, writing:

Two different Rajapaksa brothers, Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Irrigation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa, had been amongst those that resigned, together with the prime minister’s son, Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa. …

[T]he president has already reappointed 4 of the outgoing ministers – three of them to their outdated jobs – whereas changing brother Basil Rajapaksa as finance minister with the earlier justice chief. Previous ministers of overseas affairs, schooling and highways saved their positions.

A mob of lots of of anti-government protesters tried to storm President Rajapaksa’s residence within the nationwide capital, Colombo, on March 31. The incident spurred Sri Lanka’s authorities to enact a state of emergency on the small island nation, situated off India’s southeasternmost coast, on April 1. Sri Lanka’s authorities bolstered the state of emergency order on April 2 when it additional imposed a 36-hour curfew on Sri Lankans amid the specter of further protests.

Demonstrators have gathered for weeks throughout Sri Lanka to denounce the position of the nation’s authorities in Sri Lanka’s spiraling monetary disaster. Sri Lankans have suffered from extreme meals, gasoline, and drugs shortages since not less than early March, after the island nation basically ran out of overseas forex reserves to pay for imported important items.

“Since the beginning of March, the Sri Lankan rupee has fallen by almost 45% against the US dollar and its foreign exchange reserves have fallen to crisis levels,” Sky News noticed on March 29.

Sri Lanka depends nearly utterly upon the island’s tourism sector and remittances from Sri Lankan employees overseas to gasoline its import-heavy economic system. The Chinese coronavirus pandemic has negatively impacted these two sources of overseas earnings and left Sri Lankan merchants with a deficit of overseas forex. Unable to pay for imports, Sri Lanka has buckled below excessive ranges of shortages which have subsequently pissed off the island’s populace of roughly 22 million.

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