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Sri Lanka: 3 Rajapaksa Family Members Left Out of New Cabinet To Pacify Protests

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's two brothers, Basil and Chamal, along with his nephew Namal, were not reinducted.

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Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa carried out a cabinet reshuffle on Monday, 18 April, a move that is widely being seen as an attempt to pacify the fierce protests that are taking place across the country, calling for the president's resignation.

He removed two of his brothers – Basil Rajapaksa and Chamal Rajapaksa – from the cabinet, along with his nephew Namal Rajapaksa, the eldest son of Gotabaya's older brother, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Mahinda, however, continues to serve as the prime minister of the country.

A detailed description of the Rajapaksa family can be found here.

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Protesters are furious at what they say is the nepotism and corruption of the Rajapaksa-led government.

The family has held onto power for the past 20 years, and is so influential that according to some estimates, it controls around 75 percent of the Sri Lankan government's budget, as reported by The Times of India.

The cabinet reshuffle and the removal of three family numbers comes just before the Sri Lankan finance ministry's announcement on Tuesday, 19 April, that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will consider providing quick financial assistance to the debt-burdened country.

The government had earlier declared on 12 April that it would default on its $51 billion external debt, awaiting a bailout from the IMF.

Sri Lanka is going through an economic meltdown of a scale unseen since the country's financial crisis of 1948. Prices of essential commodities like rice, milk, and oil have skyrocketed.

The main cause is the shortage of foreign currency, which has led to a huge reduction in imports of essential items like petroleum, food, paper, sugar, lentils, medicines, and transportation equipment.

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