You are here: Home » International » News » Economy
Business Standard

Sri Lanka's economic crisis deepens; cabinet ministers offer to resign

The debt-laden country is struggling to pay for imports of fuel and other essentials due to a severe shortage of foreign currency

Topics
sri lanka | fuel imports | Economic Crisis

Reuters  |  Colombo 

Sri Lankans participate in a protest demanding president Gotabaya Rajapaksa resign, before the beginning of curfew in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday, April 2, 2022.  (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
Sri Lankans participate in a protest demanding president Gotabaya Rajapaksa resign, before the beginning of curfew in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday, April 2, 2022.  (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

The son of Sri Lanka's prime minister resigned from the cabinet on Monday and several other members have offered to do so, a minister said, just days after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared a state of emergency following protests over an .

The debt-laden country is struggling to pay for imports of fuel and other essentials due to a severe shortage of foreign currency, leading to hours-long power cuts and widespread demonstrations that continued despite a weekend curfew.

Traffic was back on the streets of the country's main city Colombo on Monday, but there were reports of sporadic and peaceful protests from across the country.

Youth and Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa, nephew of Gotabaya and the son of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, said on Twitter on Monday he had told the president's secretary about his resignation with immediate effect.

Namal said he quit in the hope it would help the president and prime minister's "decision to establish stability" for Sri Lankans and the government.

Education Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told local media late on Sunday that "we handed our letters of resignation to the prime minister".

"The president and the prime minister will discuss and take relevant decisions," he said, without clarifying how many ministers had offered to quit.

Udaya Gammanpila, the chief of one of the 11 political parties that form the ruling coalition, said he had met the president and prime minister on Sunday with a plan to form a new cabinet.

"Our initial proposal was to set up an interim government representing all political parties of the government," Gammanpila of the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya party told Reuters.

The island nation of 22 million, off India's southern tip, is also grappling with soaring inflation after the government steeply devalued its currency last month ahead of talks with the Monetary Fund for a loan programme.

The country's expenditure has exceeded its income under successive governments while its production of tradable goods and services has been inadequate. The twin deficits were badly exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic that crippled its economic mainstay, the tourism industry.

(Reporting by Uditha Jayasinghe and Devjyot Ghoshal; Writing by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

(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.)

Dear Reader,


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.

Digital Editor

First Published: Mon, April 04 2022. 11:43 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.