In the light of the fuel shortage, the Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has advised citizens not to join lengthy fuel queues. The crisis-hit nation received a new PM on Thursday. PM Wickremesinghe addressed the nation and requested $75 million in foreign exchange to pay for essential imports.
During PM Ranil’s speech, he said, “Currently, we have petrol stocks for only one day. The upcoming months will be the most difficult months of our lives. We have to prepare ourselves for some sacrifices and face the impending challenges.” However, two shipments of petrol and diesel each, using an Indian credit line, could fulfil the country’s fuel needs for the next few days. Not only this, but Sri Lanka is also deficient in 14 essential medicines.
Earlier, Sri Lanka’s economic crisis led to the citizens protesting in large numbers against President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Amid this, a violent fight between the government supporters and protesters killed nine and wounded 300. Due to this, his elder brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa, had to resign as the Prime Minister.
Sri Lanka’s New Savior
The President appointed Ranil Wickremesinghe as the new PM to calm the angry citizens. The new saviour of Sri Lanka has held the hold five times previously. However, the protestors have refused to budge until President Rajapaksa resigns. They called Wickremesinghe a stooge and criticised Rajapaksa for choosing his brothers as cabinet members. On the other hand, PM Ranil believes that he is in power for the country’s benefit.
The commercial capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo, witnessed long lines of auto rickshaws. The Sri Lankan auto rickshaws are the most popular public transport in the country. However, on Monday, their wait went in vain due to a gas shortage at the stations.
The coronavirus pandemic, populist taxes by the Rajpaksas, and rising oil prices hit Sri Lanka with an economic crisis. Since its independence in 1948, the Indian Ocean Island Nations has not seen a worse scenario. Currently, India and China are battling for influence in the crisis-hit island nation.
A diesel shipment using the Indian Credit line arrived in Sri Lanka on Sunday. But, the government has not initiated its distribution. However, Wickremesinghe is yet to announce the finance minister, responsible for negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial assistance.