Times Of India News

A strongman checks out, but no signs of a cohesive political alternative

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s resignation as Sri Lankan prime minister on a day which saw the protests against the Rajapaksa clan take a decisively violent turn leaves only president and Mahinda’s younger brother Gotabaya clinging precariously to his post. While Mahinda hoped his resignation would pave the way for a unity government, the opposition and protesters are unlikely to budge until Gotabaya also quits. The violent attacks by Rajapaksa supporters against the protesters has also worsened the situation.

Mahinda, the patriarch of the family, had enjoyed cult status in the island nation until the economic downturn for his strong leadership that brought down the curtains on three decades of LTTE-led violence in Sri Lanka. But the skyrocketing prices of essential commodities and severe shortages of fuel and foodstuffs combined with depleted forex reserves has knocked the bottom out of that support.

Read: Curfew in Sri Lanka after anti-govt protest in Colombo turns violent

With the opposition’s impeachment motion against president Gotabaya with the speaker, it remains to be seen if Parliament or the intensifying protests will decide his fate. What’s certain is that the opposition with its current strength is is no position to offer a cohesive government. With no end in sight to the impasse, a ruined Sri Lanka stares at a long rocky road to recovery.

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