Sri Lanka President’s Brother, Basil Rajapaksa, Resigns From Parliament
He is the second person from the Rajapaksa family to step away from the government amid the economic crisis.
He is the second person from the Rajapaksa family to step away from government amid the island-nation's severe economic crisis. President Rajapaksa's elder brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa, had resigned as prime minister last month after prolonged protests against the economic crisis turned violent.
"From today I will not be involved in any government activities but I cannot and will not step away from politics," Basil Rajapaksa told reporters.
This comes amid an ongoing 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.
Basil, the president's youngest brother, was the finance minister of the country until he was sacked by the president on 4 April this year.
Basil Rajapaksa was already a controversial figure due to his dual citizenship, and his place in Parliament was secured only because a constitutional barrier preventing dual citizenship holders from the same was removed.
Sri Lanka Will Need $5 Billion in Coming 6 Months for Essentials: PM
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Sri Lanka's Parliament that the country needs at least $5 billion over the next 6 months to fund and maintain the basic living standards.
This includes $3.3 billion for fuel imports, $900 million for food, $250 million for cooking gas and $600 million more for fertilisers.
The prime minister is currently working on an interim budget to rectify Sri Lanka's shattered finances, reported Reuters.
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