Sri Lanka’s entire Cabinet Ministers apart from Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to resign amid rising public anger against the government over the economic crisis in the country.
Sri Lanka economic crisis: 10 updates
Sri Lanka’s Cabinet of Ministers resigned with immediate effect late on Sunday night, as the country experiences its worst economic crisis of all time.
The ministers came under intense pressure from the public over the government’s alleged “mishandling” of the economic crisis, triggered by the shortage in the foreign exchange reserve.
A critical lack of foreign currency has left Sri Lanka struggling to service its ballooning $51-billion foreign debt, with the pandemic torpedoing vital revenue from tourism and remittances.
Wide spread public protests were seen throughout the evening in spite of the imposition of curfew which is due to end on Monday morning.
Namal Rajapaksa, the sports minister and President Rajapaksa’s nephew, told reporters that the social media blockade was useless as many people would use Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access social media sites.
On Saturday, Sri Lanka has imposed a three-day island-wide curfew after mass protests erupted in Colombo over public discontent with the government’s efforts in dealing with the economic crisis that has gripped the country.
The government ordered internet service providers to restrict social media access, tightening curbs to prevent planned demonstrations calling for President Rajapaksa’s ouster over soaring living costs and a foreign exchange crisis. The social media curbs were lifted in the second half of Sunday.
Sri Lanka is currently experiencing its worst economic crisis in history. With long lines for fuel, cooking gas, essentials in short supply and long hours of power cuts the public has been suffering for weeks.
Diesel shortages have sparked outrage across Sri Lanka in recent days, causing protests at empty pumps, and electricity utilities have imposed 13-hour blackouts to conserve fuel.
Many economists also say the crisis has been exacerbated by government mismanagement, years of accumulated borrowing and ill-advised tax cuts. Sri Lanka is negotiating with the International Monetary Fund for a bailout.
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