New Sri Lanka cabinet and PM to be appointed within a week says President Gotabaya
Amid Sri Lanka’s political and economic crisis, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, while addressing the nation on Wednesday, said he was working with all party leaders to appoint a new prime minister and cabinet this week. The decision came after his elder brother and former PM Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned following deadly violent attacks triggered by ruling party supporters in the country. Eight people died, and over 200 were injured in the clash.
Sri Lanka’s president said, “I am taking steps to form a new government to control the current situation, to prevent the country from falling into anarchy.” He also added that the new cabinet will command a majority in the parliament’s 225 seats and will bring constitutional reforms to grant more power to the parliament.
President Gotabaya, on the recent clashes, said that he had ordered suitable authorities to take action against the culprit of the violence. “No one can justify the violent acts orchestrated on May 9 and during the past few days,” he also said, adding that hatred and violence must be stopped.
The move came as Sri Lanka’s central bank governor said that he would quit soon unless political stability was restored. “I have told the president and other political party leaders that if political stability is not established in the next two weeks, I will step down,” Weerasinghe told the reporters. Last month, P Nandalal Weerasinghe appointed the central bank’s chief to come out of the worst-hit economic crisis prevailing in the country.
A report by Reuters states that the island nation needs at least USD 4 billion to sustain its mounting economic crisis. The residents of Sri Lanka blame the government of Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his family for the growing concern on the island down to just about $50m.
After protesting peacefully for more than a month, public anger exploded into violence this week. Ruling party supporters stormed an anti-government protest camp, escalated clashes nationwide, and asked for the prime minister’s resignation.