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In a gazette notification, Mr Rajapaksa said the emergency rule ordinance would stand revoked as of midnight on April 5. He dissolved his cabinet on Monday and sought to form a unity government as public unrest surged over his handling of the economic crisis that has led to shortages of food and fuel and prolonged power cuts.
Sri Lanka's President lost his parliamentary on Tuesday as former allies urged his resignation, following days of street protests over the island nation's crippling economic crisis. Severe shortages of food, fuel and other essentials -- along with record inflation and crippling power cuts -- have inflicted widespread misery in the country's most painful downturn since independence from Britain in 1948.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's once-powerful ruling coalition is in turmoil after a string of defections, capped on Tuesday by the new Finance Minister's resignation just one day after taking office.
Public anger is at a fever pitch, with crowds attempting to storm the homes of several government figures since the weekend and large demonstrations elsewhere. Students were seen marching towards the Prime Minister's house in rain this evening. The police have formed a human chain.
The Sri Lankan government is now five short of a majority in the 225-member house, but there has been no clear signal that legislators will attempt a no-confidence motion that would compel it to resign.
Massive protests have spread across the country of 22 million despite the emergency laws allowing troops to detain participants and a weekend curfew that lapsed on Monday morning.
Crowds have attempted to storm the homes of more than a dozen government figures, including the president's house in Colombo. Protesters there torched the vehicles of security forces, who responded by firing rubber bullets and tear gas.
Most demonstrations have been peaceful, with Catholic clergy and nuns led by Sri Lanka's Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith leading a procession in the capital. "This is a valuable country with intelligent people. But our intelligence, the people's intelligence, has been insulted by corruption," Mr Ranjith said.
A critical lack of foreign currency has left Sri Lanka struggling to service its ballooning $51 billion foreign debt, with the pandemic torpedoing vital revenue from tourism and remittances. The result has seen unprecedented shortages with no sign of an end to the economic woes.
Economists say Sri Lanka's crisis has been exacerbated by government mismanagement, years of accumulated borrowing and ill-advised tax cuts.
With inputs from AFP