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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.

Updated
World
2 min read
Sri Lanka President’s Brother, Basil Rajapaksa, Resigns From Parliament
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The brother of Sri Lanka's president Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the country's former finance minister Basil Rajapaksa said on Thursday, 9 June, that he had resigned from parliament, Reuters reported.

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.

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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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