Under fire Sri Lanka president appoints new cabinet

Written by on April 18, 2022

Beleaguered Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a 17-member cabinet even as protests calling for him to resign grow larger.

Mr Rajapaksa had initially dismissed his cabinet of ministers and had called on opposition parties to help form a new government. But they had refused.

He has now re-appointed a number of his party members to several posts.

The island nation is grappling with its worst economic crisis since independence from Britain in 1948.

It is caused in part by a lack of foreign currency, which has meant that Sri Lanka cannot afford to pay for imports of staple foods and fuel, leading to acute shortages and very high prices.

With power cuts lasting half a day or more, and shortages of food, medicines and fuel, public anger reached a new high.

Mass protests began in early April with people calling for President Rajapaksa to resign, which he has refused to do despite opposition arguments that he has lost the people’s mandate.

His appointment of a new cabinet appears to be another sign that he will not bend to protesters demands.

Peaceful protesters in Colombo have been holding placards, chanting slogans for Mr Rajapaksa and his family to leave the government.

Similar protest sites are springing up in other parts of the country as well.


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