Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister and Central Bank Governor Replaced Amid Growing Civil Unrest

Sri Lankan Central Bank governor Ajith Cabraal resigned on Monday amid escalating protests in Sri Lanka over the mounting economic crisis.

Cabraal’s resignation arrived hours after Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa removed his brother and Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa from his post on Monday.

Cabraal announced his resignation in a Twitter post after replacing WD Lakshman to take over for his second term as Central Bank governor in September 2021.

“In the context of all Cabinet Ministers resigning, I have today submitted my resignation as Governor,” Cabraal said in a tweet.

Justice Minister Ali Sabry will be the new finance minister, replacing Gotabaya’s brother Basil Rajapaksa, who was due to visit the United States this month for talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a loan program.

Sri Lanka has been struggling to pay for imports of fuel and other goods due to a scarcity of foreign exchange, resulting in hours-long power outages and a shortage of essentials.

Street protests against the government continued on Monday, with crowds gathering in several towns, including Southern Tangalle, where people holding posters and the national flag broke through police barricades.

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