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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has no motive to resign: chief govt. whip 

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa “has no reason” to resign, the chief authorities whip informed Parliament on Wednesday, as residents’ protests develop, now with state sector staff too demanding his resignation.     

“The President has been given a mandate by 6.9 million voters. He does not need to resign,” mentioned Johnston Fernando, who was among the many 4 Ministers that Mr. Gotabaya not too long ago re–appointed to a “new Cabinet”, after members of the outdated Cabinet resigned en masse.

In his first initiative but to deal with the financial disaster after residents’ protests erupted, President Gotabaya on Wednesday appointed a panel of eminent Sri Lankan economists to advise him on debt restructuring and restoration, an announcement mentioned. 

The “Presidential Advisory Group on Multilateral Engagement and Debt Sustainability” contains Indrajit Coomaraswamy, former Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Shanta Devarajan, former Chief Economist with the World Bank and Sharmini Coorey, a former Deputy Director on the IMF, the Presidential Media Division mentioned. 

The ruling Rajapaksa clan faces unprecedented public criticism as Sri Lanka battles extreme shortages of gas, meals and medicines amongst different necessities, throughout one in every of its worst financial downturns.

Mr. Gotabaya’s authorities misplaced its majority in Parliament on Tuesday, as over 40 MPs from his celebration and its coalition companions sat individually, distancing themselves from the unpopular administration.

The widespread public anger, over the federal government’s ‘mishandling’ of a grave financial disaster gripping the nation, first manifested in pocket protests by residents that started over a month in the past. Over the final two weeks, the agitations escalated and the decision for the resignation of President Gotabaya, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and their members of the family grew louder.

Almost each night now, 1000’s throng the streets of capital Colombo and lots of different cities and villages within the island, elevating slogans akin to “Gota go home”, “Rajapaksas go home”, ”. In addition to residents, attorneys’ teams, academics and well being staff have additionally begun protesting in several places blocking roads or gathering outdoors the properties of officers, MPs, Ministers, with out sparing even the President and the Prime Minister themselves.

As agitations unfold, President Gotabaya responded by imposing Emergency, curfew, and banning social media final weekend — strikes that his critics see as focusing on dissent. Protesters defied the curfew whereas the ban on social media was eliminated in lower than a day following a backlash. On Tuesday, Mr. Gotabaya additionally revoked the Emergency, hours after the Opposition challenged him to a parliamentary vote on it.    

The political deadlock triggered by the Cabinet resignations persists, with the nation left with simply the President, the PM and three Cabinet Ministers, after one in every of them resigned inside a day. The Opposition has rejected Mr. Gotabaya’s supply to type a nationwide Cabinet and is reluctant to type a caretaker authorities underneath his Presidency.

Parliament convened on Wednesday to debate the disaster. Commencing the talk, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena mentioned: “Sri Lanka is facing the worst economic crisis in history, but it is just the beginning.” As residents face monumental hardship owing to the stifling shortages, he mentioned consultants have warned of a extreme meals scarcity.  “The food, gas and electricity shortages will get worse. There will be very acute food shortages and starvation,” he mentioned, urging parliamentarians to put aside political variations and reply collectively to the disaster.

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