Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday appointed 17 cabinet ministers amid the worsening economic crisis in the island nation. The new ministers have been appointed with the aim to ensure the smooth functioning of the administration. The swearing-in ceremony for the ministers took place at the Presidential residence. President Rajapaksa had earlier offered cabinet positions to opposition party lawmakers after 26 ministers resigned from the country’s cabinet.
On April 3, cabinet ministers of the Sri Lankan government had resigned en masse, except for Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, in view of the economic crisis. The new cabinet consists of eight former ministers, reported the Colombo Page. There have been widespread calls for the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajpaksa. Rajapaksa had earlier refused to step down from his post and said that he would transfer power to any party that proves a simple majority in the country’s parliament.
The island nation is facing its worst economic crisis since independence with food and fuel shortages, soaring prices and power cuts affecting a large number of the people, resulting in massive protests over the government’s handling of the situation.