Sri Lanka Economic Crisis Highlights: Prez Invites Opposition To Join Government

Colombo: Amid the resignation of 26 Sri Lankan Cabinet Ministers, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has invited all political parties in the country to accept ministerial portfolios and work together to find a solution to the national crisis.

In a letter, the President said that the current crisis was the result of several economic and global concerns and that a solution needs to be found within the democratic process of the country.

In the latest development the two main opposition parties of the nation, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), have rejected the President’s request to form an all-party interim government, saying the President should resign, said Sajith Premdasa, LoP in Sri Lankan Parliament, to ANI

As one of the leading democracies in Asia, it needs to be addressed within the framework of democracy itself, the letter stated, adding that “together we must work together in the national interest for benefit of citizens and future generations.”

On Sunday, 26 Sri Lankan Cabinet Ministers resigned en masse from their positions amid rising public anger against the government over the economic crisis.

Here’s The Lankan Crisis in 10 Points:

  • Sri Lanka’s economy has been in a free fall since the COVID-19 pandemic due to the crash of the tourism sector.
  • Sri Lanka’s currency has been also devalued by almost SLR 90 against the US dollar since March 8.
  • A 36-hour nationwide curfew already in force after protests outside the residence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
  • Buses in Colombo sit idle while some hospitals have suspended routine surgeries.
  • Exams were postponed this month because schools ran out of paper.
  • Island nations facing a foreign exchange shortage which has led to a fuel, power and gas shortage and have sought the assistance of friendly countries for economic assistance.
  • India delivered 40,000 MT of diesel to Sri Lanka to help ease the power crisis in the island country.
  • India provided more than $500 million in foreign currency swaps to strengthen Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves, taking the total up to $900 million.
  • India also extended the repayment time frame for the $500 million debt of Sri Lanka under the Asian Clearance Arbitration.
  • More recently on March 17, Sri Lanka signed a $1 billion credit line deal with India for the procurement of food, medicines and other essential items during Sri Lankan Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksha’s two-day visit to India.
  • Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Basil Rajapakse is scheduled to travel to Washington in April in order to seek IMF assistance to deal with the country’s economic crisis.

 

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