All Sri Lankan Cabinet Ministers Resign Amid Protests

All Sri Lankan cabinet ministers, except for Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapksa and his brother President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, resigned on April 3 amid protests over the government’s handling of the worst economic crisis in decades.

All 26 ministers in the cabinet submitted their letters of resignation to the prime minister at a late-night meeting, Education Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told reporters.

Namal Rajapksa, the prime minister’s own son, was among those who resigned.

Rajapksa said on Twitter that he hoped his resignation would the president and the prime minister in their “decision to establish stability for the people and the government.”

The move clears the way for the president to appoint new cabinet ministers on April 4.

Some of those who left their post may be reappointed.

The resignations come as the South Asian island nation is under a state of emergency and a nationwide curfew after protesters attempted to storm the president’s residence in Colombo.

Protesters have been gathering as the country faces an economic crisis, including severe shortages on essentials and power cuts, which is said to be the worst since it gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1948.

Under the state of emergency, people are banned from being on public roads, parks, trains, or on the seashore unless they have a written permission from authorities.

The curfew is in effect until April 4 morning.

Access to social media was also blocked, which the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), Sri Lanka’s main opposition alliance, denounced as an attempt to suppress public protests.

“President Rajapaksa better realize that the tide has already turned on his autocratic rule,” SJB lawmaker Harsha de Silva told AFP News.

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