COLOMBO: Within 24 hours of the mass resignation of Sri Lankan ministers, four new ministers were sworn in on Monday even as President Gotabaya Rajapaksa called upon all political parties to stand united to deal with the economic crisis that has spurred widespread protests across the country.
President Rajapaksa has urged all the political parties who have representation in the parliament to take up ministerial portfolios, as per the President’s office.
Twenty-six Cabinet ministers except for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped down on Sunday in a move that is being seen to mitigate the anger against the Rajapaksa family.
Namal Rajapaksa, son of Prime Minister Mahindra Rajapaksa, tweeted, “I have informed the secretary to the President of my resignation from all portfolios with immediate effect, in hope that it may assist HE and PMs decision to establish stability for the people and the govt of LKA.”
The newly-appointed ministers are: Ali Sabry as Finance Minister, Dinesh Gunawardena as Education Minister, Prof. GL Peiris as Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Johnston Fernando as Highways Minister.
Over 600 Sri Lankan citizens were detained for demonstrating against the government in violation of the 36-hour long curfew imposed across the country on Saturday.
The Island nation is facing its worst economic crisis triggered by shortage of foreign reserves, leading to high prices of commodities, frequent power cuts, shortage of food and medicines.
On request of Sri Lankan government, India h as extended USD 1 billion Line of Credit to the crisis-hit country to procure food, medicine and essential items. Indian Oil Corporation recently sent 6,000 metric tonnes of diesel to the Island state.