Sri Lanka under virtual lockdown as fuel restricted for pvt cars

by | Jun 27, 2022 | World

Gov’t decided on Monday to limit distribution of fuel to essential services until July 10 and told residents to stay home.By Anusha Ondaatjie and Asantha SirimanneBloombergPublished On 28 Jun 202228 Jun 2022Sri Lanka abruptly restricted fuel supplies and told residents to stay home, raising the risk of more unrest as the government struggles to provide essential goods due to a crippling sovereign debt crisis that has rocked the country for months.
The island nation’s cabinet of ministers Monday decided to limit distribution of fuel to essential services until July 10, spokesman Bandula Gunawardena said in a televised statement, adding that inter provincial public transport would likely come to a halt.
“Port, health services, food transport will be provided petrol and diesel while all other sectors are requested to stay at home and provide services online in this difficult time,” Gunawardena said. “Our country is facing an unprecedented state of finance and foreign exchange crisis.”
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told lawmakers last week the economy had “completely collapsed,” saying the island nation is unable to purchase fuel as shortages of essentials and electricity worsen. His government is in talks with the International Monetary Fund as well as bilateral creditors such as India and China for fresh funds to pay for imports after it defaulted on its dollar bonds earlier this year and saw foreign reserves dwindle.
The government had already closed public schools and asked civil servants to work from home to curtail transport, leaving many roads in and around the capital, Colombo, deserted over the past days, even as thousands of vehicles lined up in queues stretching for kilometers waiting for filling stations to be replenished.
Violent protests erupted in May after President Gotabaya Raja …

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