Listen to Today's Edition
Several Sri Lankan ministers and officials resigned Monday following ongoing mass demonstrations as the country experiences its worst economic crisis in decades, CNN reported.
The Minister of Justice and the Minister of Youth and Sports – the latter who is also President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s nephew – are among those who have either resigned or indicated their intention to leave the administration. On Monday, the Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabral became the latest to quit.
The resignations come amid demonstrations over the country’s dire economic situation that has seen a currency devaluation, skyrocketing prices of basic goods and days-long power blackouts.
The protests turned violent last week when protesters threw bricks and set fires outside the president’s residence in the capital, Colombo. The incident prompted Rajapaksa to declare a state of emergency, impose a curfew in parts of the city and block social media platforms.
Even so, demonstrators took to the streets over the weekend in defiance of the curfews.
Rajapaksa addressed the situation Monday, saying the crisis is a result of “several economic factors and global developments.” He urged all parties to “work together for the sake of all the citizens and future generations.”
Over the past two years, Sri Lanka’s currency reserves have fallen by 70 percent to $2.31 billion. The island nation must repay almost $4 billion in debt this year, including a $1 billion international sovereign bond maturing in July.