Desperate Sri Lanka Invites Protesters To Governance

Prime Minister wants youth and experts to work together within parliamentary committees.

Sri Lanka’s prime minister said Sunday that protesting youth groups will be invited to be part of governance under political reforms he is proposing to solve the country’s political crisis triggered by an economic collapse.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that under proposed constitutional reforms, powers of the president will be clipped and those of Parliament strengthened. In a televised statement to the nation, he said that governance will be broad-based through parliamentary committees where lawmakers, youth and experts will work together.

The youth are calling for a change in the existing system. They also want to know the current issues. Therefore, I propose to appoint four youth representatives to each of these 15 committees, Wickremesinghe said.

Protesters consisting of mainly young people have camped out outside the president’s office for more than 50 days.

The country’s foreign currency reserves have dwindled to just enough to purchase two weeks of needed imports.

Authorities announced last month that they were suspending repayment of nearly $7 billion foreign debt due this year. Sri Lanka has to pay up $25 billion through 2026. Total foreign debt of the Indian Ocean island nation is $51 billion.

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