Sri Lanka's Parliament open debate on domestic debt restructuring
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Colombo: A senior leader from Sri Lanka’s Opposition party Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) on Saturday said his party will prove their majority in Parliament next week for the no-confidence motion against the government led by the Rajapaksa family, according to a media report.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has asked the Opposition to show their majority by garnering the support of 113 lawmakers in the 225-member Parliament to form the interim government.

Everyone will be able to see that we command a majority next week and I will not reveal how we are going to do it as of now, Daily Mirror newspaper quoted SJB MP and Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella as saying.

President should resign from his post and then constitutional reforms should follow to ensure checks and balances among the pillars of the government, he said during a press conference.

Another SJB MP Mujibur Rahman, who was also present during the press conference, said his party will also push for impeachment against the President.

We have not given it up, he said.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Friday extended an invitation to form an all-party government comprising all political parties represented in Parliament to address the economic crisis in the island nation.

He made the offer during a discussion with party leaders and representatives who are now operating independently in Parliament, President’s media division said in a statement. However, it was not clear if incumbent Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, the eldest brother of the President, will resign to form the all-party government.

Sri Lanka is currently in the throes of unprecedented economic turmoil since its independence from Britain in 1948.

The crisis is caused in part by a lack of foreign currency, which has meant that the country cannot afford to pay for imports of staple foods and fuel, leading to acute shortages and very high prices.

The Rajapaksa family is coming under increasing pressure to resign with tens of thousands of protesters camping permanently outside the presidential secretariat for three weeks now.

The street protests throughout the island nation call for the resignation of the entire Rajapaksa family for their bungling in handling the economic crisis as people are forced to wait in long queues for essentials while enduring long power cuts.

In recent weeks, the powerful Buddhist clergy, civil society and trade chambers have demanded the formation of an interim government to handle the current economic crisis.

The President has also come under pressure from a dissident group of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) coalition to set up an interim government.

However, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, 76, has refused to resign.

He stresses that any interim government should only be formed under his premiership.

The Opposition maintains they would never be part of any government under the two Rajapaksas.

The public agitations demanding the resignation of the entire Rajapaksa family entered its 22nd day on Saturday.

Sri Lanka needs at least USD 4 billion to tide over its mounting economic woes, and talks with international institutions such as the World Bank as well as countries like China and Japan for financial assistance have been going on.

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