Sri Lanka: Parliament Reconvenes as PM Warns of Hardship

    Photo: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

    The Facts

    • Sri Lanka's parliament reconvened this week for a four-day session that began with the ruling party's candidate, Ajith Rajapakse, appointed as deputy speaker after winning 109 votes in a secret ballot - compared to 78 for the opposition's nominee.

    • This comes a day after Sri Lanka's new PM announced that the crisis-plagued nation was down to its last day of gasoline, amid anti-government protests that saw nine people killed and 300 injured last week.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Former PM Mahinda Rajapaksa was a beloved figure who has devoted his entire adult life to public service; he just wasn't equipped to handle Sri Lanka's unprecedented economic turmoil. With his resignation, Pres. Gotabaya Rajapaksa can bring new blood into his administration in the form of Wickremesinghe to solve this crisis.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Wickremesinghe is not the band-aid that Pres. Gotabaya Rajapaksa thinks he will be. Sri Lankans see him as just another connected and corrupt career politician being brought in to replace Mahinda without challenging Rajapaksa's control. The move will not quell the anger of anti-government protests.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 50% chance that Gotabaya Rajapaksa will no longer be president of Sri Lanka by 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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