Saturday May 28, 2022

Sri Lanka begins ‘unity’ govt with opposition boycott

May 15, 2022

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka on Saturday named the first ministers of a "unity" government tasked with rescuing the country from its crippling economic crisis, but which has failed to secure opposition support.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, appointed on Thursday, has attempted to put together a cross-party coalition that can begin mending the island nation’s decimated finances.

But opposition parties have called his premiership illegitimate and some lawmakers have demanded fresh elections.

Wickremesinghe has instead been forced to rely on the support of lawmakers allied to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, whose administration is blamed by many for leading Sri Lanka’s economy to the brink of collapse.

Rajapaksa’s office announced the appointment of four ministers on Saturday including Gamini Peiris, who returns to the foreign ministry just days after losing his job when the previous cabinet was dissolved.