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Asian nation’s government quits amid economic crisis

Sri Lanka’s government has resigned following protests over the nation’s worst economic crisis in decadesAsian nation’s government quits amid economic crisis

Asian nation’s government quits amid economic crisis

Protest against rising living costs, at the entrance of the president’s office in Colombo. © AFP / Ishara S. KODIKARA

Following the resignation of Sri Lanka’s Central Bank Governor on Monday, the president dropped his brother as finance minister in an attempt to reshape the country’s government, amid massive protests over a deteriorating economic crisis.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has called for a unity administration. “The president invites all political parties in parliament to accept cabinet posts and join the effort to seek solutions to the national crisis. Considering this a national need, the time has come to work together for the sake of all the citizens and future generations,” his office said in a statement.

Having fallen by nearly 6%, Sri Lanka’s stock exchange closed almost immediately after its opening on Monday.

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Earlier, all previous 26 cabinet ministers, including the president’s own nephew, had resigned, forcing the Sri Lankan leader and his older brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, serving as the Prime Minister, to start forming a new government.

The cabinet’s resignation comes as anti-government protests are sweeping around the country.

On Friday, Rajapaksa’s government tried to curb demonstrations by introducing a state of emergency and imposing a full social-media blackout, banning Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, and Instagram. The next day, a 36-hour-long curfew was imposed confining the 22-million island nation.

Sri Lankans are fuming over the worst shortages of essentials since the country’s independence from Great Britain in 1948. Most people are having a hard time stocking up on food, fuel, and medicine.

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