Amid crisis, Sri Lankan president Rajapaksa appoints new Cabinet of 17 ministers
Colombo, Apr 18: Amid unprecedented crisis leading to protests, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a new cabinet of 17 ministers, news agency ANI reported citing the Sri Lankan media.
It is reported that the ministers is likely to take place on Monday, it added. "New cabinet is to be sworn in today. President and PM (Mahinda Rajapaksa) to continue. Some new and young faces will be taken in as Cabinet ministers," ANI quoted a ruling party MP as saying.
Sri Lanka is currently experiencing its worst economic crisis in history. With long lines for fuel, cooking gas, essentials in short supply and long hours of power cuts the public has been suffering for weeks.
Rajapaksa has defended his government's actions, saying the foreign exchange crisis was not his making and the economic downturn was largely pandemic driven where the island's tourism revenue and inward remittances waning.
The entire Sri Lankan Cabinet resigned in the first week of April due to massive anti-government protests.
An opposition party in Sri Lanka opposed the decision of the President to appoint a new Cabinet with inexperienced ministers.
The economic situation has led to huge protests with demands for the resignation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.