Colombo | Jagran News Desk: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is learnt to have responded positively to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's request to him to quit in the face of the deepening economic crisis along with the imposition of the state of emergency in the island nation. The decision was reportedly taken at a special cabinet meeting headed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa, where Mahinda Rajapaksa agreed to resign from his post as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan Cabinet had been informed that owing to the failure of the Prime Minister to cope with the country's ongoing economic crisis, Mahinda Rajapaksa has sought to resign from his position. His resignation will also mark the dissolution of the Cabinet as well. Further, Mahinda Rajapaksa had stated that if the only solution to the persistent economic crisis in Sri Lanka is his resignation, he is willing to do so.

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had accepted that amidst strong protests by the people it has become a serious problem to manage the economic and political crisis in the country, reported the Colombo Page. He added that the crisis had resulted in an absence of tourists in the country. Moreover, the closure of factories had also piled up the burden on the already prevalent economic woes.

Colombo calm after state of emergency:

Streets in Sri Lanka's commercial capital Colombo were calm on Saturday after the president declared a state of emergency following escalating anti-government protests. Details of the latest emergency regulations were not yet made public, but previous emergency laws have given greater powers to the president to deploy the military, detain people without charge and break up protests.

"The President has taken this decision due to the public emergency situation in Sri Lanka and in the interests of public security, the protection of public order and the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community," a statement released by his office said.

There were no initial reports of late-night disturbances following the emergency declaration shortly before midnight, while traffic proceeded as normal in Galle Face, a central area of Colombo that has been a major site of protests and marches.

Emergency declared after day-long protests:

The crisis-hit Sri Lanka on Friday declared a state of emergency after the crippling strike and protest over the external debt for the second time in five weeks. Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared a state of emergency citing "public security and the protection of public order and for the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community." It will come into effect on May 6 at midnight.

The move comes after massive protests across the island nation demanding the resignation of President Rajapaksa and the entire government over the economic crisis in the country. The first state of emergency was declared on April 1, 2022. Trade unions staged a nationwide strike demanding his resignation over the crisis. Over 2,000 trade unions participated in today's nationwide hartal and strike against the President, Prime Minister, and the government, Colombo Page reported.

Sri Lanka economic crisis:

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka is struggling with acute food and electricity shortages, forcing the country to seek help from its neighbours. The recession is attributed to foreign exchange shortages caused by a clampdown on tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic. The country is unable to buy sufficient fuel and gas, while the people are being deprived of basic amenities as well. The economic situation has led to huge protests with demands for the resignation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

 

(With Agencies Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan