On Tuesday, the Sri Lankan forces and the protesters got into a fight in the city of Rambukkana. Sri Lankan police fired at the protesters for the first time since the protests broke out across the entire nation. The ruckus resulted in the death of one of the protesters and left many injured. One of the police spokespeople said that when the mob turned violent, they had to shoot at the people. All of this is happening amidst the Sri Lankan economic crisis.
Months have passed since the prices of essential commodities in Sri Lanka started skyrocketing. The government is feeling helpless and people are becoming more anxious and violent. People are blocking major highways leading to the national capital, Colombo.
The President plans to amend the constitution amidst the outrage of the people
Protests in Sri Lanka have turned violent because of major fuel shortages and rising prices. This has led to violent outbreaks across the country. People are burning tyres and blocking roads to demonstrate their distress. The city of Rambukkana is under curfew due to the increasing rage of protesters.
Further, the government is unable to pay for importing essential commodities like food, medicine, and fuel. The country has completely run out of its foreign reserves. There is huge pressure on the government to resign.
On the other hand, President Rajapaksa has asked parliament to amend the constitution to incorporate positive aspects of the legislature, judiciary and executive. The President said, “I hope that the amendments to the constitution will be able to meet the needs of the people.”
Earlier, Rajapaksa appointed 17 new members to his cabinet. The new cabinet does not include many of the minister’s relatives who previously held portfolios. However, the people of Sri Lanka demand the resignation of the ruling family. However, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the President, and Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Prime Minister, still hold their offices.
Other major developments amidst the rising outrage in Sri Lanka
Other countries lend help to assist the disastrously crippled economy of Sri Lanka. China has confirmed it will provide humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka. Further, Indian Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, met her Sri Lankan counterpart to discuss the current situation prevailing there. She assured the Finance Minister of Sri Lanka, Ali Sabri, of all possible cooperation and assistance.
The Chief Justice of Sri Lanka accused the government of not acting promptly when the economy started to worsen. He said, “This is the reason people are protesting on the streets in great numbers. If the government is a failure, the Supreme Court can’t do anything.”
The International Monetary Fund is expected to help the economy of Sri Lanka quickly amidst this Sri Lankan Economic Crisis.
Shamir Zavahir is the Counsel & Head of Reforms at the Ministry of Justice, Sri Lanka.
Edited By: Aaradhana Singh
Published By: Akshaj Joshi