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Five Big Things About Sri Lanka’s Economic Crisis, Protest

Crowds clashed with riot police as they demonstrated outside the Sri Lankan President’s house


Sri Lanka has witnessed its worst decline since independence, triggered by a severe shortage of foreign currency to pay for even the most important imports. The island nation is unable to pay for fuel shipments due to lack of foreign exchange, and is willing to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund.

Here are five big things about the Sri Lanka Economic Crisis:

Protests outside the president’s house

More than 2,000 people staged a protest march in the Lankan capital and clashed with police outside the home of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Police fired tear gas and water cannons at protesters trying to storm the President’s residence. Protesters demanded the resignation of President Rajapaksa.

“Crazy people go home”
Videos shared on social media showed men and women shouting “crazy, crazy go home” and demanding all members of the Rajapaksa family in power step down.

President Mahinda’s brother serves as prime minister while the youngest – Basil – holds the financial portfolio. Chamal’s eldest brother is Agriculture Minister while Namal’s nephew holds cabinet posts for sports.

From Diesel
Diesel was no longer sold across Sri Lanka on Thursday, crippling transportation as 22 million people in the crisis -hit country suffered the longest power outage. Gasoline was sold but there was a shortage of supplies, forcing drivers to leave their cars in long queues.

Lack of fuel hit the bus
Diesel shortages have sparked outrage across Sri Lanka in recent days, but protests have so far taken place in cities and have not been addressed to any of the top leaders, ahead of Thursday’s event.

“We are sucking fuel from the buses that are in the garage for repairs and using the diesel to operate the serviceable vehicles,” Transport Minister Dilum Amunugama said.

Private bus owners – who account for two -thirds of the nation’s fleet – said they had run out of fuel and skeleton service may not be possible after Friday.

Lack of electricity supply
Sri Lanka is shutting down street lights to save electricity, a minister said on Thursday. The state electricity monopoly also enforced a 13 -hour power cut because they had no diesel to generate.


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