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2 anti-Rajapaksa members return to party fold amid widespread protests in Sri Lanka


COLOMBO: The Assassin Rajapaksa the family got a much-needed shot in the arm when two dissidents resigned as the government’s handling of the current economic crisis returned to the party, even as the protests Spread of anti-government continued for the fourth day in Sri Lanka on Tuesday.
Members, including Shantha Bandara, who was the former President Maithripala Sirisena Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), were sworn in as state minister, days after they resigned in protest at the government’s economic mismanagement.
Last week, the entire Sri Lankan cabinet resigned except the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at a time when the country was facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence from Great Britain in 1948.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his brother, Prime Minister Mahinda, remain in power in Sri Lanka, although their politically powerful family that has been in power for most of the past two decades is in the spotlight. Five other family members are lawmakers, three of whom resigned as ministers last Sunday.
As part of the group, dissident members held talks with President Rajapaksa to form an all-party unity cabinet and called for the entire Rajapaksa family to step down. The talks held on Sunday night ended inconclusive.
With dissidents softening their stance, Rajapaksa is likely to appoint his cabinet on Tuesday, according to sources. He has appointed only four members so far after the cabinet’s resignation.
Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa, Vice President of SLFP said that disciplinary action will be taken against Bandara, who has returned to Rajapaksa Stadium.
“He violated the party’s central committee’s decision to leave the government,” Piyadasa said.
Independents have also expressed unwillingness to side with the main opposition’s vote of no confidence against the government.
Meanwhile, street protests, which began on Saturday, continued into a fourth day across from the president’s secretariat in Colombo on Tuesday.
They were entertained by local musicians last night and it was reported in the morning that a rap artist named Shiraz Shiraz had died at the protest site, collapsing from a heart attack.
Prime Minister Rajapaksa’s televised speech last night, in which he asked people to be patient until the government resolves the economic crisis, failed to calm the anger when people criticized the government. on social media platforms.
“We’re here because the people we voted for have let us down. We’ll keep going until they leave,” said one protester.
In a televised address to the nation, Mahinda, who is under growing pressure to quit due to the worst economic crisis the island nation has faced, said he understands the sufferings of people. people.
“We have to strengthen the economy. We will have the responsibility to solve the economic problem the same way we ended the 30-year war,” the prime minister said, referring to his military victory over The Tigers Liberated Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009.
The LTTE, which led to a war of secession for a separate Tamil homeland, was crushed by the Lankan army in 2009 following the death of powerful warlord Velupillai Prabhakaran.
Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since its independence from the United Kingdom in 1948.
People have protested for weeks about the prolonged power cuts and shortages of fuel, food and other daily necessities. They are asking the President to resign.
The president has defended the government’s actions, saying the foreign exchange crisis was not of his own making and that the economic downturn was largely caused by the pandemic fueled by the island nation’s tourism revenue and dwindling remittances. reduction.





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