Sri Lanka President inducts 8 more ministers to handle economic crisis: Latest developments

India's island neighbour is witnessing its worst financial crisis since 1948, when the latter became independent from British rule.
People wait in a line to buy domestic gas tanks near a distributor, amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 23, 2022. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
People wait in a line to buy domestic gas tanks near a distributor, amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 23, 2022. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
Published on May 23, 2022 08:28 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

Sri Lanka's embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday inducted eight more ministers in his Cabinet to handle the country's financial crisis, its worst since gaining independence from Britain's rule in 1948. The day also saw a top official tender his resignation over the May 9 violence in Colombo, which led to the resignation of then-PM and President Gotabaya's elder brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Also Read | Inside the Sri Lankan people’s protest

Here are the latest updates from Sri Lanka's fight against the economic crisis:

(1.) The new ministers belong to the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), and its allies--the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP). However, the crucial finance portfolio continues to be vacant.

(2.) Major General (retired) Jagath Alwis resigned as the Secretary to the Ministry of Public Security. On May 9, the Rajapaksa supporters viciously assaulted anti-government protesters in Colombo, the island nation's largest city. More than 1,500 people have been arrested in connection with the clashes till now, local media reported.

Also Read | Sri Lanka falls into default for the first time ever

(3.) As shortage of fuel supplies continued, long queues were seen at gas stations in Colombo. “95 petrol will be released to islandwide fuel stations from today. With the 2 cargo vessels unloaded, 95 Petrol stocks will be available for the next 6 weeks comfortably. Request the 95 users not to stay in lines for 92 Petrol and to obtain 95 Petrol from tomorrow,” tweeted Kanchana Wijesekera, the minister for power and energy.

 

Also Read | Sri Lankan medicine shortage a death sentence for some, doctors say

(4.) To help deal with the overall fuel shortage, a fresh consignment of petrol reached from India to its southern neighbour. “Commitment delivered!! Around 40000 MT of petrol under #Indian assistance reached #Colombo today,” the Indian high commission posted on Twitter.

 

(5.) The proposal for the 21st Amendment to Sri Lanka's Constitution, which would have curbed the immense powers enjoyed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa as President, was scheduled to be presented to the Cabinet but was not brought before it. As per reports, this was because MPs of the ruling SLPP demanded the legislation first be approved by the Attorney General and then sent to the Cabinet.

(With agency inputs)

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