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Sri Lanka's newly-appointed finance minister resigns



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COLOMBO, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's newly-appointed Finance Minister Ali Sabry resigned on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after his appointment on Monday.

Sabry said he had accepted the portfolio only as an interim measure.

He said he was also willing to step down from his parliamentary seat if the president wished to appoint a suitable person to handle the situation from outside the current Parliament.

Sabry also told local media that his resignation was to pave the way for establishing an interim government.

Sabry and three other ministers were sworn into the new cabinet on Monday after Sri Lanka's cabinet ministers offered to resign from their positions on Sunday night in response to calls from the protests amid economic instability and a severe fuel shortage in the South Asian country.

Sri Lanka has for days been facing public protests calling for immediate measures to be taken by the government to solve the economic crisis, hours-long power cuts and shortages in fuel and other essential supplies.

The ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) lost its parliament majority as 42 members of parliament on Tuesday announced they would sit independently.

On Monday, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa extended an invitation to all political parties to join the government to find solutions to the ongoing crisis.