Overblog
Follow this blog Administration + Create my blog
Lankatime   ලංකා වේලාව

Sri Lanka economic crisis: No-trust vote against Lankan govt on the cards; Oppn claims it has numbers in Parliament

April 26 2022 , Written by lankatime

Sri Lanka economic crisis: No-trust vote against Lankan govt on the cards; Oppn claims it has numbers in Parliament

Colombo: A Sri Lankan dissident lawmaker, fired by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa from the Cabinet for his critical views, claimed on Monday that the Opposition has crossed the 113-mark required to win a no-trust motion against the government in the 225-member Parliament.

President Gotabaya, facing fierce public protests against his government's mishandling of the country's worst economic crisis, had said that he would hand over the government to any group that could muster 113 seats but would not step down from the presidency.

Udaya Gammanpila, who held the energy ministry portfolio before being sacked by Gotabaya Rajapaksa along with industry minister Wimal Weerawansa for openly criticising then finance minister and the president's younger brother Basil Rajapaksa, is advocating an all-party interim government with the resignation of prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Gammanpila said that with enough numbers of MPs breaking away from the government and with support from the main Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), Marxist Janatha Vikmuthi Peramuna (JVP) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), they are assured of winning the no-trust vote. "We told the SJB to wait till we could get 113, now we have 120," he said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has not informed any group that he will resign from the premiership as he still has the majority in Parliament, senior officials from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) told the Daily Mirror newspaper. Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his discussions with Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) members, independent and religious groups, had not discussed his resignation as he still has over 100 seats in Parliament, the PMO said, responding to claims by Gammanpila that 120 MPs were now supporting the no-confidence motion against the premier after he informed that he was ready to step down.

Meanwhile, in a letter to the powerful Buddhist clergy, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that while he respects the advice of the clergy, the changes, if any, in the system of governance must be made in line with the specified constitutional provisions.

Read more

India agreed to extend $500 million credit line to help Sri Lanka import fuel

April 23 2022 , Written by lankatime

India agreed to extend $500 million credit line to help Sri Lanka import fuel

New Delhi: Sri Lankans shout slogans at the ongoing protest site against the economic crisis outside the president's office in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Colombo:India has agreed to extend an additional USD 500 million credit line to help Sri Lanka import fuel, Finance Minister Ali Sabry said, amid delays in chalking out a bailout package with the IMF to mitigate the dire financial crisis facing the island nation.

Sri Lanka has been struggling to pay for imports after its foreign exchange reserves plummeted sharply in recent times, causing a devaluation of its currency and spiralling inflation.

"India has agreed to provide an additional USD 500 million for our fuel imports," Sabry said on Friday, while adding that he was hopeful that New Delhi would consider handing out another USD 1 billion dollars as a credit line.

India has already agreed to defer USD 1.5 billion in import payments that Sri Lanka needs to make to the Asian Clearing Union.

On Friday, New Delhi has also extended the tenure of a USD 400 million swap given in January this year, the Indian High Commission said.

Sabry is currently in Washington to negotiate a programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The finance minister said that talks have begun on an Extended Fund Facility, but the finer details of the programme are yet to be finalised.

Sri Lanka needs at least USD 4 billion to tide over its mounting economic woes, and Sabry has been holding talks with international institutions such as the World Bank as well as countries like China and Japan for financial assistance.

"It will be a difficult period in the next nine months. During that time there is a need to bring in more investments in US dollars into the central bank. We are talking with several countries. If these efforts are successful, and if investment of about USD 2 billion comes to the central bank, it will help stop the depreciation and stabilise the rupee," Sabry said.

On April 12, Sri Lanka suspended its debt servicing for the first time in its history.

Last week, the Sri Lankan government said it would temporarily default on USD 35.5 billion in foreign debt as the pandemic and the war in Ukraine made it impossible to make payments to overseas creditors.

Sri Lanka has been witnessing mass anti-government protests in recent weeks as it suffers food shortages, soaring fuel prices and major power cuts due to the unprecedented financial crisis.

Read more

Colombo: Economic crisis: Sri Lankan President appoints 17 ministers in Cabinet to firefight crisis Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday appointed 17 Cabinet Ministers even while anti-government protests continue to pick steam following the economic and political crisis in the country. The new Ministers have been appointed with the aim to ensure the smooth functioning of the adminis

April 18 2022 , Written by lankatime

Colombo: Economic crisis: Sri Lankan President appoints 17 ministers in Cabinet to firefight crisis  Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday appointed 17 Cabinet Ministers even while anti-government protests continue to pick steam following the economic and political crisis in the country.  The new Ministers have been appointed with the aim to ensure the smooth functioning of the adminis

Colombo: Economic crisis: Sri Lankan President appoints 17 ministers in Cabinet to firefight crisis

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday appointed 17 Cabinet Ministers even while anti-government protests continue to pick steam following the economic and political crisis in the country.

The new Ministers have been appointed with the aim to ensure the smooth functioning of the administration. They were sworn in at the President's house.

This is the third Cabinet reshuffle carried out by President Rajapaksa.

While the new Cabinet consists of eight former Ministers, it will have a number of new faces, Colombo Page reported.

On April 3, the entire cabinet of 26 Ministers except for Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned from their respective portfolios amidst the worst economic crisis in the island's history.

On the next day, President Rajapaksa had appointed four Ministers to maintain the legitimacy and stability of Parliament and other functions of the country.

The island nation is facing its worst economic crisis since independence with food and fuel shortages, soaring prices and power cuts affecting a large number of the people, resulting in massive protests over the government's handling of the situation.

Sri Lanka's economy has been in a free-fall since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the crash of the tourism sector.

Sri Lanka is also facing a foreign exchange shortage, which has affected its capacity to import food and fuel. The shortage of essential goods forced Sri Lanka to seek assistance from friendly countries.

The economic situation has led to huge protests with demands for the resignation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Earlier, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in a special address to the nation had requested people to remain patient and stop taking to the streets in order to enable the government to resolve the situation.

Read more

With curfew in force, Sri Lanka's capital wears deserted look

April 3 2022 , Written by lankatime

With curfew in force, Sri Lanka's capital wears deserted look

COLOMBO:The streets of Colombo wore a deserted look, resembling a "no man's land" here on Sunday as a curfew was imposed on the city on top of a 36-hour nationwide curfew already in force following protests outside the residence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The cars in the city were all parked in the parking lot and the roads remain deserted, with police forces and army personnel stationed everywhere in the city and checking the vehicles.

Protests were nevertheless held in the city and throughout the country, with people breaking the curfew.

Protests staged by the public were reported from small streets, apartment complexes, and multiple areas around the country, the Colombo Gazette reported.

The Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) also staged a protest in Colombo today against the Government with slogans of "Go Gotabaya Go", referring to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Sri Lanka on Sunday arrested over 600 protestors violating the curfew in Western Province imposed from 6 pm from Saturday to 6 am on Monday.

The police said that 664 individuals were arrested in the Western Province between 10.00 pm last night and 6.00 am today, reported Colombo Gazette.

During the protests, an allegedly intoxicated 53-year-old male committed suicide in front of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's house in Mirihana, local police informed.

Ahead of a planned 'Arab Spring" style protest for Sunday, the island nation had imposed a nationwide curfew starting at 6 pm in the evening on Saturday till morning 6 am on Monday (April 4) following unrest in the country with protests outside the residence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa amid the ongoing economic crisis in the Island country.

To counter the protests, the Sri Lankan government also imposed a nationwide social media blackout after midnight on Sunday, April 3, according to an internet observatory.

Some two dozen social media platforms were affected including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok, and Instagram.

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.

Sri Lanka is witnessing long hours of daily power cuts. The country's currency has also been devalued by almost SLR 90 against the US dollar since March 8. 

Read more

Armed Forces deployed as fuel stations in Colombo re-open

April 2 2022 , Written by lankatime

Armed Forces deployed as fuel stations in Colombo re-open

Colombo: Apr 02: Armed cops have been stationed at fuel stations in Colombo a day after a state of emergency was declared to tackle the unrest among the public.

Armed Forces were stationed at fuel stations to ensure that there is no chaos or protests that take place.

Meanwhile shops in Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo opened the first day after the emergency was declared. Shops and establishments were heavily guarded by the security forces.

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had on Friday declared a nationwide public emergency amidst a spate of protests, including outside his house, over the worst economic crisis in the island nation.

American ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung said, "I am watching the situation closely, and hope the coming days bring restraint from all sides, as well as much needed economic stability and relief for those suffering."

In the gazette, the President states: "Whereas I am of opinion that by reason of a public emergency in Sri Lanka it is expedient to do so in the interests of public security the protection of public order and the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community".

The move also came as the island nation braced for country-wide protests on Sunday against the government's poor handling of the ongoing economic crisis where people currently endure long hours of power outages and scarcity of essentials.

source: 

Armed Forces deployed as fuel stations in Colombo re-open
Armed Forces deployed as fuel stations in Colombo re-open
Armed Forces deployed as fuel stations in Colombo re-open
Armed Forces deployed as fuel stations in Colombo re-open
Read more