Sri Lanka's leader suspends parliament until policy address
Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe has issued an extraordinary decree suspending parliament until February 8.
He said he would announce a new set of long-term policies to address the country's economic crisis and other issues.
The government did not give a clear reason for the move, but Wickremesinghe's office said in a statement that his address to lawmakers on February 8 will announce new policies and laws, which will be implemented until the centenary celebrations of Sri Lanka's independence in 2048.
During the suspension of parliament, the speaker continues to function and lawmakers keep their seats even though they do not attend any sessions.
Sri Lanka is trying to recover from a serious economic crisis that hit the country in 2022, resulting in the authorities being unable to pay for fuel, medicine and other supplies imported from overseas.
Addressing a religious event in Anuradhapura, the capital city of North Central Province, Wickremesinghe on Saturday said Sri Lanka's economy, though contracted by 11 percent in 2022 and possibly 3.5 percent or 4 percent this year, will see growth in 2024.
However, the president also warned that if the economic projects implemented by the government and the debt restructuring program are disrupted, the country is still at risk of falling into an economic crisis.