Sri Lankan ministers sacked for criticizing economic policy

Mar 3, 2022, 8:11 AM | Updated: 8:15 am
Sri Lankans queue to buy fuel at a fuel pump in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Sri La...

Sri Lankans queue to buy fuel at a fuel pump in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Sri Lanka’s already dire economic crisis has deepened as oil prices hover near $110 a barrel. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

(AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s president has dismissed two more Cabinet ministers after they publicly criticized the government’s handling of the economy, which they said is causing severe hardships for people.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa sacked Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila and Industries Minister Wimal Weerawansa, the president’s office said Thursday.

A total of three Cabinet ministers have now been ousted for criticizing the government’s economic policies.

Both Gammapila and Weerawansa played key roles in bringing Rajapaksa to power and are now part of a group of about 30 lawmakers in the governing alliance that are urging the government to change economic course.

The country has a severe foreign exchange shortage because of a sharp decline in foreign tourists and exports due to the pandemic and heavy debt obligations for infrastructure projects.

The lack of dollars to pay for imports has resulted in shortages of essential products such as milk power, medicine and fuel. Dwindling fuel stocks have forced daily 7 1/2-hour power cuts because generators can’t be operated.

There are long queues at gasoline stations and vehicles are stranded on roads because their tanks have run dry. Fishermen are demanding fuel to operate their boats and farmers are unable to run harvesting machines.

Gammanpila publicized the foreign exchange shortages and blamed the government for not prioritizing imports of medicine and fuel. Weerawansa said authorities were giving priority to projects like building highways while ignoring the immediate needs of the people.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Clouds cast shadows near wind turbines at a wind farm along the Montana-Wyoming state line on Monda...
Associated Press

Wind energy boom and golden eagles collide in the US West

CODY, Wyo. (AP) — The rush to build wind farms to combat climate change is colliding with preservation of one of the U.S. West’s most spectacular predators — the golden eagle — as the species teeters on the edge of decline. Ground zero in the conflict is Wyoming, a stronghold for golden eagles that soar […]
22 hours ago
This photo provided by University of Georgia graduate research assistant Matt Phillips, shows resea...
Associated Press

Prehistoric fish may spawn in Georgia: 1st time in 50 years

Scientists and students embarking on a census of Georgia lake sturgeon have found three females with mature eggs — an indication the armored “living fossils” may be reproducing in that state for the first time in a half-century. “It’s exciting because it’s confirmation that they are becoming mature and trying to spawn,” Martin J. Hamel, […]
22 hours ago
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol delivers a speech during a news conference to mark his first 1...
Associated Press

South Korean leader: Seoul won’t seek own nuclear deterrent

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said Wednesday his government has no plans to pursue its own nuclear deterrent in the face of growing North Korean nuclear threats, as he urged the North to return to dialogue aimed at exchanging denuclearization steps for economic benefits. In a news conference in […]
22 hours ago
Former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a news conference in Sydney, Wednesda...
Associated Press

Former Australia PM says secret powers were needed in crisis

SYDNEY (AP) — Scott Morrison said Wednesday that giving himself extra powers when he was Australia’s prime minister was necessary during the coronavirus crisis as criticism rose the moves were deceptive and undemocratic. Current Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is seeking an opinion from the solicitor-general on the legality of some of Morrison’s moves. Many of […]
22 hours ago
A buoy sits high and dry on cracked earth previously under the waters of Lake Mead at the Lake Mead...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: Winners, losers in water cuts for Western states

WASHINGTON (AP) — People in Arizona and Nevada won’t face bans on watering their lawns or washing their cars despite water shortages on the Colorado River. But officials said Tuesday there will still be less water available next year from the river that serves 40 million people in the West and Mexico. Observers say a […]
22 hours ago
FILE - Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was a lawyer for former President Donald Trump, spe...
Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani set to testify in Georgia election probe

ATLANTA (AP) — Rudy Giuliani is scheduled to appear in an Atlanta courthouse to testify before a special grand jury that is investigating attempts by former President Donald Trump and others to overturn his 2020 election defeat in Georgia. It’s unclear how much the former New York mayor and attorney for Trump will be willing […]
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
Sri Lankan ministers sacked for criticizing economic policy