Sri Lankan government in disarray as economic crisis deepens

  • Government loses majority in parliament
  • Finance minister quits one day after appointment
  • Shares rise after events in parliament
  • Opposition demands president, prime minister quit

COLOMBO, April 5 (Reuters) – At least 41 Sri Lankan lawmakers walked out of the ruling coalition on Tuesday, leaving the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in a minority in parliament as it struggles with the country’s worst economic crisis in decades.

In another setback for the administration, Finance Minister Ali Sabry resigned a day after his appointment and ahead of crucial talks scheduled with the International Monetary Fund for a loan programme.

Rajapaksa dissolved his cabinet on Monday and sought to form a unity government as public unrest surged over the ruling family’s handling of the debt-heavy economy that has led to shortages of food, fuel and medicines and prolonged power cuts.

Possible next steps could be the appointment of a new prime minister replacing the president’s elder brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa, or snap parliamentary elections much ahead of a scheduled vote in 2025.

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