Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Sri Lankan cabinet resigns en masse as crisis deepens

All 26 ministers aside from the president and the prime minister step down as anti-government protesters defy curfews.

Sri Lanka’s cabinet members have resigned en masse from their positions, the education minister said, as anti-government protests escalated despite curfews.

All 26 ministers aside from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his elder brother Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped down during a late-night meeting on Sunday, Education Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told reporters.

“All the ministers submitted their letters of resignation so that the president can constitute a new cabinet,” Gunawardena said, adding that the decision was taken after discussing the worsening economic crisis.

Three other members of the powerful Rajapaksa family were among those who quit amid mounting public anger against the acute shortages of food, fuel and medicines plaguing the South Asian nation of 22 million.

The youngest Rajapaksa brother, finance minister Basil, and the eldest, Chamal, who held the agricultural portfolio, and the family’s scion Namal, the sports minister, all resigned.

The move came after thousands of people defined a weekend curfew on Sunday to protest across the island and demand the resignation of the Rajapaksa family, which returned to power in November 2019.

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