Sri Lanka: State of emergency still in place as curfew lifted

Sri Lanka State of emergency still in place as curfew lifted

COLOMBO: The 36-hour long curfew that was imposed on Sri Lanka on Saturday evening has been lifted on Monday morning at 6 am but the country is still under the effect of a state of emergency.

The curfew was imposed on Saturday from 6 pm in accordance with the powers vested in the President under the provisions of the Public Security Ordinance following protests outside the residence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the country faces its worst economic crisis since independence.
Namal Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs and son of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, has resigned from all his portfolios.

“I have informed the sec. to the President of my resignation from all portfolios with immediate effect, in hope that it may assist HE & PMs decision to establish stability for the people & the govt of #LKA. I remain committed to my voters, my party & the people of #Hambanthota,” Namal Rajapaksa said in a tweet.

The 26-member Sri Lankan cabinet submitted letters of resignation – but not Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa amid rising public anger against the government over the economic crisis in the country.

They have all signed a general letter, consenting to resign paving the way for a new cabinet to be formed, the English language newspaper Daily Mirror reported.

Confirming this development, MP Dinesh Gunawardena said Mahinda Rajapaksa will continue to function and all other members of the cabinet have tendered resignation to the PM, News Wire reported.

The country is witnessing protests over the government’s handling of the worst economic crisis in decades. Sri Lanka’s economy has been in a free fall since the COVID-19 pandemic due to the crash of the tourism sector.

Sri Lanka is presently facing a foreign exchange shortage which has led to a food, fuel, power and gas shortage and has sought the assistance of friendly countries for economic assistance.

Despite lifting the curfew, the country is still under the effect of a state of emergency. Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa issued a Gazette Notification on April 1, imposing a state of emergency in the country and saying that it is to ensure “public security and maintenance of public order.” (ANI)