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In Sri Lanka, the Prime Minister refuses to leave despite the loss of support

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Mahinda Rajapaksa invoked the support ofa majority of parliamentarianseven if he there may be a minority who want me to leave.

The people must be patient to overcome the crisis, added the 76-year-old head of government on the radio. He added thatthere could be no interim coalition government without me as prime minister.

Media Minister Nalaka Godahewa on Saturday announced his support for the thousands of people who have been camping for more than three weeks outside the office of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to demand his resignation and that of his older brother and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Sri Lanka is going through its worst economic crisis since its independence. in 1948. with shortages of fuel, food and other necessities.

A new government

The president appointed a new government on Monday, from which two of his brothers and a nephew were dismissed. but retaining at its head the head of the family, Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Mr. Godahewa, hitherto loyal to the Rajapaksa clan, said on Saturday that the head of state should get rid of the prime minister and authorize an interim government bringing together all parties.

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We must restore political stability to successfully face the economic crisisMr. Godahewa wrote on his Facebook page. The whole government, including the Prime Minister, should resign and [il devrait y avoir] an interim government that can win everyone’s trust.

According to him, the government lost what remained of its credibility with the death on Tuesday of a demonstrator killed by the police. Mr. Godahewa claims to have immediately submitted his resignation, refused by the president.

Other senior ruling party officials, including former government spokesman Dullas Alahapperuma, have also called for the head of government to resign.

I urge the president to appoint a smaller cabinet with genuine consensus representing all parties in parliament for up to one year. »

A quote from Dullas Alahapperuma, former government spokesman

The police and the army squared the city of Rambukkana, in the center of the country, on Saturday, before the burial at nightfall, in the presence of Buddhist monks, of Chaminda Lakshan, 42, shot dead during a demonstration against rising fuel prices, suppressed by the police.

Law enforcement claimed they opened fire, killing Lakshan, after a 28-year-old protester tried to set a tanker truck on fire. The young man was arrested.

Record inflation

Food, fuel and electricity have been rationed for several months in this country which is experiencing record inflation. Hospitals lack essential drugs.

Finance Minister Ali Sabry, currently in Washington to negotiate a loan from the International Monetary Fund, warned on Friday that the economic situation could worsen further.

It will get worse before it gets better. The next few years will be painful. »

A quote from Ali Sabry, Minister of Finance

Fruitful technical discussions with the IMF

The head of the IMF mission in Sri Lanka, Masahiro Nozaki, for his part welcomed in a statement on Saturday the fruitful technical discussions which took place from April 18 to 22 between the Sri Lankan delegation and the institution’s team, on the authorities’ request for an IMF-supported program.

Going forward, the IMF team will support Sri Lanka’s efforts to weather the current economic crisis by working closely with the authorities on their economic program and engaging with all other stakeholders to support an early resolution. of the crisisunderlined Mr. Nozaki.

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