Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on April 29, 2022 agreed to replace his older brother Mahinda Rajapaksa as prime minister in a proposed interim government to solve the country’s political crisis triggered by its worst economic crisis.
A national council will be appointed to name a new prime minister soon and a cabinet that comprises all parties in the Parliament. This was informed by lawmaker Maithripala Sirisena after a meeting with the president. He said that the talks were successful and the government will be sending invitations to all parties in the coming days. The new Sri Lankan cabinet is expected to be small with just 15-20 Cabinet Ministers.
Mahinda Rajapaksha is a former Sri Lankan President, whose party Freedom Party (SLFP) had recently quit the government.
New Sri Lanka Cabinet
A new Sri Lankan cabinet had been sworn on April 18, 2022 comprising 17 Ministers to try and mitigate the nation’s spiraling economic and political crisis. This was the third cabinet reshuffle by the President.
The new cabinet comprises eight old cabinet ministers and the remaining were all new faces. The new cabinet was sworn in to ensure smooth functioning of the administration after the old cabinet comprising 26 ministers resigned en masse on April 3rd except for Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Sri Lanka Crisis
Sri Lanka is facing one of its worst economic crises that have resulted in widespread protests against the Rajapaksa family leaders, including PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The nation is almost near bankruptcy and it announced recently that it will be temporarily defaulting on all its foreign debts. The shortage of foreign exchange has severely limited imports.
Sri Lanka is unable to pay for even crucial imports including fuel and staple food, leading to acute shortage and inflation, forcing people to wait in long lines to buy essentials such as food, fuel, cooking gas and medicine. The massive fuel shortage left the country reeling with record-long power cuts.
The crisis has led people to defy curfew and take to the streets demanding the resignation of President Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.