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Sri Lanka passes stopgap, plans full budget vote in February

Sri Lanka passes stopgap, plans full budget vote in February

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — A Sri Lanka government spokesman says plans for a new budget will be presented next February after the parliament approved a 1.77-trillion-rupee ($9.39 billion) stopgap measure to cover government expenditures over the first four months of 2019, averting a government shutdown January 1.

Sri Lanka had been engulfed in a political crisis since late October after President Maithripala Sirisena sacked the country's prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and cabinet. The country did not have a functioning government for nearly two months. Sirisena replaced Wickremesinghe with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who lost two confidence votes in parliament.

The country faced the risk of being unable to use state funds from Jan. 1 and potentially default on a foreign debt repayment of $1 billion due on Jan. 10.

Sirisena reinstated Wickremesinghe last week.