State of Emergency Declared as Street Protests Escalate

Story Highlights
  • Sri Lanka witnesses worst economic crises so far- shortage of fuel and food.
  • India offers 40,000 tonnes of diesel.
  • Citizens took to street calling demonstrations for Presidents ouster.

Colombia: Offering aid, India sent a ship carrying 40,000 tonnes of diesel as the country doomed to darkness. The fuel will reportedly be distributed across the country by the evening, sources added.

After days of struggle and tension, the citizens of Sri Lanka took to the streets protesting against the president on Thursday, following which a state of emergency was declared on Friday giving sweepy powers to security forces. The tough laws were revoked by the President allowing military forces to arrest and detain suspects for a longer period without trial.

Around 22 million people in the island country of Sri Lanka, endured food and basic essential shortage after Rajapaksa’s government was unable to pay for essential imports, including fuel, leading to debilitating power cuts lasting up to 13 hours- a never before seen situation. Thousands were seen swarming the streets in Sri Lanka protesting against the economic crises-worst in decades.

The island country was already battling foreign deficits for a few years but its reserve plummeted by around 70% in the past two years. This slashed the government’s purchasing power, limiting the country’s import of foreign goods including essentials like food and fuel. Furthermore, the inability to import from other countries triggered never-before-seen inflation, with prices of food increasing by 25 % in the last month alone. It has also led to debilitating power cuts with residents living without electricity for as long as 10 hours at present. 

The predicament has been compounded by the pandemic- which torpedoed tourism and remittances. Economists also highlight govt mismanagement and years of accumulated borrowing as an added load.

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