Sri Lanka revokes emergency with President Rajapaksa facing calls to quit

The proclamation that took effect April 1 is voided as of midnight April 5, Rajapaksa said in an extraordinary gazette late Tuesday.
Demonstrators hold placards and shout slogans during a protest against the surge in prices and shortage of fuel and other essential commodities near the parliament building in Colombo on April 5, 2022. (AFP)
Demonstrators hold placards and shout slogans during a protest against the surge in prices and shortage of fuel and other essential commodities near the parliament building in Colombo on April 5, 2022. (AFP)
Updated on Apr 06, 2022 06:03 AM IST
Copy Link
Bloomberg |

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa revoked emergency rule within days of imposing it as the escalating political crisis makes it tougher for Sri Lanka to agree a much-needed financial bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

The proclamation that took effect April 1 is repealed as of midnight April 5, Rajapaksa said in an extraordinary gazette late Tuesday. Imposing Emergency had given Rajapaksa sweeping powers to detain protesters and seize property, but he also faced mounting calls from lawmakers to step down.

Eleven parties within the ruling coalition said in parliament Tuesday that they would function as independent lawmakers and some members of Rajapaksa’s party will distance themselves from the government, putting a simple majority in the 225-seat legislature in doubt. An eroded cabinet following mass resignations -- including the Finance Minister -- limits his ability to negotiate with foreign bondholders a debt restructure that’s key for IMF support.

The IMF is monitoring political and economic developments in Sri Lanka “very closely,” Reuters reported Tuesday citing the multilateral lender’s Sri Lanka Mission Chief Masahiro Nozaki, before the nation’s finance minister quit within a day of being sworn in.

The extra yield investors demand to hold Sri Lanka’s sovereign debt, on average, over U.S. Treasuries widened by 76 basis points on Tuesday to 30.06 percentage points, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. data, well above the 10-percentage point threshold for distressed debt.

Global asset managers including Fidelity Investments and T. Rowe Price Group are staring down the risk of default. Holders for which data is available are estimated to own 4% of the outstanding debt, and the amounts would constitute a small portion of the firms’ overall assets.

Opposition groups had previously rejected overtures from the president to join an interim government after the entire cabinet resigned following street protests by citizens. They want to see a change to the country’s constitution that will limit Rajapaksa’s wide-ranging executive powers, which include calling for elections mid-way through a five-year parliament term and appointing and firing government officials and judges.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • bortion rights activists hold signs during a protest in front of the Supreme Court building following the announcement to the Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling on June 25, 2022 in Washington, DC. 

    Your body belongs to Christ: Anti-abortionists see divine hand in court ruling

    Diana Villanueva's wasn't greeted by the crowds of protestors who often gather outside facilities in the United States to try to persuade women to change their minds. After you go through what you go through then you ponder what you did. That's when the remorse starts kicking in." "A lot of those ladies say: 'It's my body, my choice'. It's not your body; your body belongs to Christ."

  • Former Pakistan's prime minister Imran Khan gestures during a press conference in Islamabad.

    Staff found planting spy device in Imran Khan's room. Here's what happened next

    A spying attempt on former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan has been foiled, Pakistan's ARY News reported. An employee was allegedly paid to install a device in the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief's bedroom. PTI leader Shehbaz Gill claimed that an employee who cleans the former prime minister's room was paid to install the spy device, terming the act heinous and unfortunate. The PTI leader alleged.

  • Two car-shipping carriers berthed at Sri Lanka's Chinese-built Hambantota Port.

    Was cash strapped Sri Lanka duped by China in Hambantota Port?

    The Hambantota Port is located in southern Sri Lanka close to the east-west sea route. Its construction began in 2008 which was funded through Chinese loans of about US$ 1.3 billion. The construction was carried out by a joint venture of China Harbor Engineering Company and the Sino Hydro Corporation. By 2016, the Hambantota Port under the ownership of Sri Lanka Ports Authority had incurred losses of about SLR 46.7 billion.

  • Images showed the ship's three-tube torpedo launcher and gun mount.

    US WWII destroyer found off Philippines

    A US navy destroyer sunk during World War II has been found nearly 7,000 metres (23,000 feet) below sea level off the Philippines, making it the world's deepest shipwreck ever located, an American exploration team said. A crewed submersible filmed, photographed and surveyed the battered hull of the "Sammy B" during a series of dives over eight days this month, Texas-based undersea technology company Caladan Oceanic said.

  • Taliban's urgent appeal to West after deadly earthquake ravages Afghanistan

    Taliban's urgent appeal to West after deadly earthquake ravages Afghanistan

    Afghanistan's Taliban administration on Saturday called on international governments to roll back sanctions and lift a freeze on central bank assets following the earthquake that killed more than 1,000 people and left thousands homeless. The 6.1-magnitude quake that struck the east of the country early on Wednesday destroyed or damaged 10,000 homes and injured about 2,000 people, straining the country's fragile health system and posing a major test for the ruling Taliban.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, June 26, 2022