Meet the man who has the most unenviable job in Sri Lanka: Ali Sabry, Finance Minister

As Sri Lanka’s Justice Minister, Ali Sabry had to defend his government’s decision not to allow burial of Muslims who died of Covid. There was stiff criticism from the community, even his family, but he put aside his own religious beliefs.

Now, the 51-year-old Sabry, a lawyer, is his country’s new Finance Minister, assigned the Herculean task of putting a derailed economy back on the rails.

He replaced Basil Rajapaksa who resigned earlier this month along with the rest of the cabinet — this was a move by Basil’s brothers, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, to appoint fresh faces in the hope of placating the angry people on the streets demanding that the ruling first family “go home”.

Hours after his surprise appointment, Sabry sent in his resignation.

In an interview with The Sunday Express at his law chambers in a quiet lane of Colombo’s Kollupitiya, Sabry said that despite his own reservations, he decided to continue in his new assignment as a national duty.

“I thought I am not an economist, I am not familiar with this area. So I thought somebody who is more suited would be ideal to do the job. That’s why I resigned. I waited three to four-five days, and in this crucial time, we appealed to anyone (to become the Finance Minister). But no one was coming forward. And then I thought at this given time, so many things are at stake, we need to protect the institutions, and we need somebody to govern. And talk to the…

Read more…