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Sri Lanka president revokes emergency order as economic crisis deepens

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Sri Lanka president revokes emergency order as economic crisis deepens
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New Delhi: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa late Tuesday night revoked the state of Emergency ordinance that had gone into effect on April 1 as protests spread in the island country amid the nation's worst economic crisis in decades.

In a gazette notification number 2274/10, the President said he has withdrawn the Emergency rule ordinance which gave security forces sweeping powers to curb any disturbance in the country.

Earlier on Tuesday, Sri Lanka's President lost his parliamentary majority as former allies urged for his resignation.

Eleven parties within the ruling coalition said in parliament Tuesday that they would function as independent lawmakers and some members of Rajapaksa's party will distance themselves from the government, putting a simple majority in the 225-seat legislature in doubt. An eroded cabinet following mass resignations -- including the Finance Minister -- limits his ability to negotiate with foreign bondholders a debt restructure that's key for IMF support.

The IMF is monitoring political and economic developments in Sri Lanka "very closely," Reuters reported Tuesday citing the multilateral lender's Sri Lanka Mission Chief Masahiro Nozaki, before the nation's finance minister quit within a day of being sworn in.

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 1948.

Massive protests reflect public anger which is at a fever pitch in the country of 22 million.

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.

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TAGS:Sri Lanka Economic crisis Mahinda Rajapaksa 
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