In response to nonconformists’ calls for the president and his powerful family to be impeached over the country’s economic disaster, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister said on Tuesday that the country’s constitutional structure would be amended to reduce presidential powers and increase participation in the legislative process.
According to a statement made to Parliament by the Prime Minister, the power exchange would be one of the first acts that could be taken to politically stabilise the country and facilitate assistance discussions with foreign financial support for an economic recovery plan. Moreover, the Prime Minister said that, “While exploring solutions to our economic issues, it is critical that we maintain political and social stability in the country.” President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the prime minister’s brother, has consolidated more authority in the presidency. President Rajapaksa said on Monday that he makes mistakes such as delaying the application for IMF assistance and outlawing agrochemicals with the goal of converting Sri Lanka’s agriculture to a completely organic system, which both contribute to the issue. Sri Lanka is on the brink of declaring bankruptcy, with around 7 billion dollars of the country’s total of $25 billion in foreign debt needing to be repaid this year. People have endured months of scarcity of essentials such as food, medicine, fuel, and cooking gas, while standing in line for hours at a time to receive the severely restricted amounts available. Last Monday, the administration announced that it will postpone the payout of remote credits while it negotiates with the international financial assistance organisation. Finance Minister Ali Sabry and other officials left for talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Sunday. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are holding their annual meetings in Washington this week. China and India have also been approached for emergency loans to help with the purchase of food and fuel in Sri Lanka.