Sri Lanka temporarily lifts curfew, new PM seeks to form cabinet
Sri Lanka has eased the nationwide curfew for 12 hours on Saturday as the country’s new prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is seeking to form a new cabinet.
On the brink of bankruptcy, Sri Lanka – an island nation of 22 million – is set to ease the curfew for 12 hours as the country goes through a political churning amid the worst economic crisis. The country is facing food and fuel shortages, soaring prices and power cuts affecting a large number of citizens. The South Asian country remains enveloped with violence and protests, even after Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped down from the prime ministerial position. Ranil Wickremesinghe – a five-time prime minister – was appointed for the sixth time late on Thursday by president Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Here are top 5 latest developments in the economic crisis-hit nation:
1. Sri Lanka has eased the nationwide curfew for 12 hours on Saturday as the country’s new prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is seeking to form a new cabinet. The government lifted the curfew from 6 am IST on Saturday until 6 pm IST. Earlier, a curfew imposed on Monday – following violent clashes – had been lifted for a few hours on Thursday and Friday to allow purchase of essential supplies.
2. Most of the opposition parties in Sri Lanka announced that they would not be joining the interim government led by Ranil Wickremesinghe, reported news agency PTI. However, they have agreed to support his economic policies from outside to help the debt-ridden country’s early recovery.
3. A lawyer has moved a Sri Lanka court seeking the CID to immediately arrest seven persons, including former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, reported news agency ANI. The lawyer is reportedly alleging “conspiracy to commit criminal intimidation and abetting attack” on a peaceful protest in front of the Temple Trees and Galle Face. Meanwhile, protesters have also called for action against the former prime minister for instigating the attack earlier this week.
4. The Sri Lankan prime minister has warned that the economic crisis in the island nation is “going to get worse before it gets better”.
5. India, which has been extending support to the debt-ridden country, said it hoped for “political stability” in the country soon after the new PM took over. “I want a closer relationship and I want to thank Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi,” Wickremesinghe said on Thursday, referring to the Indian economic assistance to his country.