Sri Lankan Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa invites independent MPs to discuss economic crisis

Sri Lankan Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa invites independent MPs to discuss economic crisis

Colombo: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has invited the eleven-party coalition allies comprising 42 independent MPs for a discussion on the country's worst economic crisis, according to a media report.

During the meeting, which is scheduled to take place on Sunday evening, the MPs will also request the president to remove his elder brother, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and appoint a new cabinet to address the unprecedented crisis faced by the island nation.

Last week the entire Sri Lankan cabinet resigned apart from Mahinda at a time when the country was facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence from the UK in 1948. During the meeting, the MPs will also hand out a list of proposals to President Rajapaksa to bail out Sri Lanka from the current economic and political crisis, the Colombo Page news portal reported.

This letter with the signatures of the President of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, former President Maithripala Sirisena, MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara, MP Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and President's Counsel Wijayadasa Rajapaksha on behalf of the 42 MPs who left the government and sat in Parliament as an independent group, has been sent to the President on Friday, Lankadeepa reported.

These political manoeuvrings were taking place amid a massive anti-government street protest demanding the Sri Lankan President's resignation.

People have been protesting for weeks over lengthy power cuts and shortage of gas, food and other basic goods.

Since Saturday, protesters from all walks of life have marched into Galle Face where Rajapaksa's secretariat is located. President Rajapaksa and his elder brother, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, continue to hold power in Sri Lanka, despite their politically powerful family being the focus of public ire. The President has defended his government's actions, saying the foreign exchange crisis was not his making and the economic downturn was largely pandemic driven with the island nation's tourism revenue and inward remittances waning.

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