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Sri Lanka Parliament Reopens Amid Ongoing Crises

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Sri Lanka Parliament Reopens Amid Ongoing Crises

Sri Lanka parliament reopens
The Sri Lanka parliament reopens today amid political and economic crises. Photo: Buddhika Weerasinghe/ Bloomberg/ Getty Images

The Sri Lankan Parliament will resume today in Kotte.

The session comes amid a spiraling collapse of the Sri Lankan economy and largescale public disapproval of government leadership, as April was marked by protests against unpopular President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa’s administration has responded to the crisis by establishing credit lines from China and India, opening debt negotiation talks with the IMF, and even closing diplomatic missions.

Under public pressure to resign, Rajapaksa invited all parties to form a unity government during the resumed session and promised to reshuffle his cabinet, including ousting his brother, Mahinda, from the position of prime minister last week. However, Sajith Premadasa, leader of the opposition, rejected the unity proposal outright on Monday, labeling the Rajapaksa administration as “thieves” after introducing two motions to censure the president.

Without approval from the opposition, expect any interim government or new prime minister to be viewed as another Rajapaksa steward by the public, threatening to make protests and political tensions even worse in the short-term. In the medium-term, should Parliament fail to alleviate power blackouts and rising food and medicine prices, stronger nationwide calls for impeachment and new elections may force Rajapaksa’s presidency to the brink of collapse.

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