Colombo: Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Tuesday night revoked the emergency rule ordinance that had gone into effect on April 1, even as the government struggles to combat protests amid the nation’s worst economic crisis.
In a gazette notification, Rajapaksa said the emergency rule ordinance would stand revoked as of midnight on April 5. He dissolved his cabinet on Monday and sought to form a unity government as public unrest surged over his handling of the economic crisis.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s ruling coalition lost its majority in parliament after at least 41 lawmakers walked out of the alliance on Tuesday.
The MPs from parties aligned with Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP)-led coalition and said they would now independently represent themselves, the BBC reported on Tuesday.
The situation has deepened the political crisis in Sri Lanka which is reeling under the worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948.
Meanwhile, protests continued outside the house of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa with lawyers and students hitting the streets and marching in the rain despite police warnings.
Tuesday’s development comes as the country grapples with power cuts and shortages due to an economic and foreign exchange crisis. This has triggered the demand for Rajapaksa’s resignation.
The MPs who have distanced themselves from the government have not extended support to the opposition. The President has called on opposition parties to help him form a national government and accept cabinet portfolios. But the opposition has rejected the offer and instead told the President to resign.
Earlier, President Rajapaksa informed senior party leaders that he would not step down from the Presidency but would hand over the government to whoever holds 113 seats in Parliament.
The Daily Mirror reported on Tuesday that Gotabaya Rajapaksa – amid public protests throughout the nation calling on the President and the government to resign – held political meetings and told political parties on Monday that he will not step down from the Presidency.
India Blooms News Service