Sri Lanka opposition declares no confidence in government – World

Sri Lanka’s main opposition party announced on Tuesday a declaration of no confidence aimed at overthrowing Prime Minister Marina Rajapaksa and his cabinet.

A group belonging to the United People’s Force, led by leader Sajith Premadasa, passed a bill to Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena calling for a no-confidence vote in the parliament.

The move comes amid protests across the country calling for the resignation of President Rajapaksa, who is responsible for the economic crisis, and his brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

A majority vote in the 225-member parliament is required to remove Rajapaksa and the Cabinet from power. Although the United People’s Army can only count on 54 votes, it hopes to win the votes of a small opposition party and defectors from the ruling Sri Lankan Popular Front. The ruling party won nearly 150 votes, but the economic crisis has weakened its power and it is possible to leave the party in a no-confidence vote.

A decision on when to conduct a no-confidence ballot is expected to come after lawmakers begin their meeting on Wednesday.

The United People’s Army also announced a no-confidence bill aimed at the president, but he will not resign if a majority of lawmakers vote against it.

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Sri Lanka is on the brink of bankruptcy after it recently announced it would stop repaying foreign loans. Sri Lanka faces debt repayment of $7 billion this year, of the $25 billion it is due to pay off by 2026. Sri Lanka has less than $1 billion in foreign exchange reserves.

The financial crisis has limited imports and created a severe shortage of necessities such as fuel, gas for cooking, medicines and food. People stand in long lines for hours to buy what they can buy, and many go home even when there is little they are looking for.

The Allied People’s Army move also causes high-ranking government officials to overprint the currency, damage agricultural production by banning chemical fertilizers for fully organic production, fail to order a COVID-19 vaccine in a timely manner, and buy later at higher prices. criticize it for doing so.

Protesters on Tuesday entered the 25th day after they occupied the entrance to the Oval Office, demanding the resignation of the Rajapaksa family, who have ruled Sri Lanka for the past 20 years.