Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Image Credit: AFP

Colombo: A Sri Lankan government official denied news reports that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa may step down as early as Sunday in an administration revamp as public anger builds against their economic policies.

"The rumors to the effect that the prime minister is going to resign have no basis to it," Information Department Director-General Mohan Samaranayake said by phone.

The Daily Mirror first reported on the possible resignations of the prime minister as well as Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa and said their brother President Gotabaya Rajapaksa plans to form an interim government including members of the current opposition. A proposal has been submitted by the ruling coalition to ensure political stability, the newspaper added.

Samaranayake declined to comment on the interim government plans.

One of the coalition partners, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, had written to the president to ask for the caretaker government to be set up within a week, failing which its 14 lawmakers would quit the government, Adaderana news website reported, citing the document.

News of growing parliamentary pressure against the Rajapaksa family, which had enjoyed widespread political support, comes as people took to the streets to protest a severe shortage of food and fuel thanks to a lack of dollars to pay for imports. Inflation has accelerated to almost 19%, the highest in Asia.