Sri Lanka ministers resign en masse as crisis deepens

Sri Lanka ministers resign en masse as crisis deepens

Crisis-hit Sri Lanka’s cabinet resigned en masse from their positions at a late-night meeting Sunday, the education minister said, as anti-government protests escalated despite curfews.

All 26 ministers aside from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his elder brother Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped down, education minister Dinesh Gunawardena told reporters.

“All the ministers submitted their letters of resignation so that the president can constitute a new cabinet,” Gunawardena said, adding that the decision was taken after discussing the worsening economic crisis.

Three other members of the powerful Rajapaksa family were among those who quit amid mounting public anger against the acute shortages of food, fuel and medicines plaguing the South Asian nation of 22 million.

The youngest Rajapaksa brother, finance minister Basil, and their eldest, Chamal, who held the agricultural portfolio, and the family’s scion Namal, the sports minister, all resigned.

The move came after thousands of people defied a weekend curfew Sunday to protest across the island demanding the ouster of the Rajapaksa family, which returned to power in November 2019.

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