Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa may offer to resign as prime minister on Monday, political sources said as pressure mounts on his younger brother and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa-led government led by his younger brother and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to form an interim government. to overcome the worst economic crisis facing the country. †
Rajapaksa, 76, under intense pressure from within his own Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) ranks to resign, gathered his supporters to counter pressure not to resign.
His younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, did not immediately express his wish, although he wanted his resignation. The president wants his resignation to allow him to run for a government of national unity, an interim settlement until the current economic crisis can be addressed, sources said.
“He should not immediately resign,” Dayasiri Jayasekera, a dissident of the ruling coalition, told PTI.
“I have a feeling he would say that I am not responsible for the current crisis, so no reason for me to resign,” Jayasekera said, adding that he would put the ball on Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s field as if he would say fire me if you want.
Despite mounting pressure, 72-year-old Gotabaya and Prime Minister Mahinda have refused to resign from office.
Mahinda Rajapaksa, the strongman of the Rajapaksa clan, faced public anger in the holy city of Anuradhapura on Sunday. He was insulted and taunted by the angry public who are demanding on the street to cook fuel, gas and end the power outages.
The protesters want the entire Rajapaksa family to quit politics and return what they believe are stolen goods from the country.
The powerful Buddhist clergy had also pressured the resignation of the prime minister and cabinet to pave the way for an interim government.
On Sunday, Sri Lanka’s main opposition, SJB, said it had rejected an offer from embattled President Gotabaya to his leader Sajith Premadasa to lead an interim government amid lingering political uncertainty in the country now under a state of emergency.
Jayasekera said the 11-party alliance of the dissident group will continue talks on Monday about ways to end the crisis.
He hoped to form an interim government if Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned.
The public protests are gaining momentum every day as the queues for petrol and gas get longer. There is also the prospect of extending the current number of hours for power cuts. On Sunday, extensive talks were held at the initiative of the Sri Lanka Bar Association (BASL). They are calling for a unity government limited to a 15-member cabinet for an 18-month period during which a plethora of constitutional reforms will take place.
In a special cabinet meeting on Friday, President Rajapaksa declared a state of emergency effective Friday midnight. This is the second state of emergency declared in just over a month.
The economic crisis is partly caused by a lack of foreign currency, which has prevented the country from paying for basic food and fuel imports, leading to acute shortages and very high prices.
Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across Sri Lanka since April 9 as the government ran out of money for essential imports; the prices of essential raw materials have skyrocketed and there are acute shortages of fuel, medicines and electricity.