Colombo: As the nationwide agitation for the resignation of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa continues, an amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka has been passed removing his executive powers and placing the President and his Cabinet under the control of Parliament. The new amendment repeals the changes made by the 20th Amendment, which gives omnipotence to the president.
The 19th Amendment, introduced in 2015 under the leadership of the current Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, gave sovereignty to Parliament. To overcome this, Rajapaksa introduced the 20th Amendment in 2020.
Meanwhile, police yesterday arrested 21 people, including Buddhist monks and women, who blocked the way to the president’s office demanding his resignation.
The protesters had called for mourning on President Rajapaksa’s 73rd birthday yesterday. The strike, which began on April 9 demanding the president’s resignation, is still going strong.
As fuel shortages worsened, the government canceled everything except essential services to reduce vehicular traffic.
Educational institutions and government offices except essential departments were closed for 2 weeks.
An 11-member IMF team arrived
11 An 11-member delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) arrived in Sri Lanka to begin discussions on resolving the financial crisis and the debt crisis. A high-level delegation led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is participating in the discussion.
Negotiations with the IMF are aimed at restructuring international debt and seeking a new $ 300 billion loan. The IMF will propose reforms that will eliminate subsidies and streamline tax collection.
Meanwhile, the finance secretary, who was out of talks with the IMF team, was detained by protesters in front of the finance ministry, sparking tensions.
English Summary: Constitution amendment in Srilanka to control president Gotabaya Rajapaksa