New Delhi: All 26 Sri Lankan Ministers resigned en masse with immediate effect late on Sunday night.
A new cabinet is expected to be sworn in on Monday (April 4). Education Minister and Leader of the House, Dinesh Gunawardena, said the Cabinet Ministers, including the Sports Minister and the President’s nephew, Namal Rajapaksa, handed over their resignations to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Reports said over 600 people were arrested in Sri Lanka’s Western Province on Sunday for violating the curfew and trying to stage an anti-government rally.
The protestors raised slogans against the government for the country’s worst economic crisis and unprecedented inflation.
The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has questioned the declaration of a countrywide State of Emergency in response to a planned protest campaign against the failure by the government to address the continuing shortage of essential items, including food, medicine and fuel, said a report in ‘Island’ newspaper.
Widespread public protests were seen throughout the evening on Sunday despite the imposition of a curfew.
The enraged public has been demanding the resignation of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The government declared a state of emergency.
Notably, Sri Lanka’s political power is concentrated in the Rajapaksa family. Besides the brothers being President and prime minister, two other brothers are ministers of finance and irrigation. The President’s nephew, Namal Rajapaksa, was also a minister.
A caretaker cabinet may be appointed to pull the country out of the crisis.
The cabinet’s resignation is seen as an effort to pacify the people, who are protesting countrywide to hold the President and the entire Rajapaksa family responsible for the economic meltdown in Sri Lanka.