New SL Finance Minister resigns

Colombo, April 5 : A day after he was appointed Sri Lanka’s new Finance Minister to battle the country’s worst economic meltdown, Ali Sabry resigned from on Tuesday, saying the government needed to take “proactive and unconventional steps … to navigate this unprecedented crisis”. Sabry was part of a four-member temporary Cabinet that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed on Monday amid unending public protests against the government over the economic crisis. Sabry took place of the President’s brother Basil Rajapaksa, who has been widely blamed for the fiscal mess. On Tuesday, Sabry — who was among the 29 Ministers who resigned en mass two days ago — told the President that he was stepping down because it was not his intention to take any post. “However, in order to maintain parliamentary democracy and the stability of the system and constitutional governance, in light of the multitude of requests made by the business comm ty, professionals and some of my Cabinet colleagues, I decided to accept of Minister of Finance only as an interim measure until a suitable, full-time and sustainable solution could be found. “However, after much reflection and deliberation, and taking into consideration the current situation, I am of the view (that to) make suitable interim arrangement to navigate this unprecedented crisis, fresh and proactive and unconventional steps needs to be taken, including the appointment of a new Finance Minister.” Sabry insisted that “at this crucial juncture, the country needs stability to weather the current financial crisis and difficulties”. Sri Lanka is reeling under the worst economic crisis since independence in 1948, resulting in widespread shortages of fuel and other essential goods and plunging the rupee into an all-time low. MR

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