Sri Lanka’s new prime minister has told the population that the country is entering its last day of gas supplies. The Sri Lankan energy minister also called on citizens to stop waiting in long lines for fuel.
Sri Lanka is in a deep economic and political crisis, leading to widespread popular protest. The protest is mainly a result of the ever-higher food and energy prices and the high government debt.
Sri Lanka’s new Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, addressed the nation today: “Right now, we only have one day’s worth of petrol supplies. Wickremesinghe said that the coming months will be the hardest of our lives,” Wickremesinghe said. The man was named prime minister on Thursday.
He went on to say that the country urgently needs more than EUR 70 million in foreign exchange to pay for essential imports. “We must prepare to make some sacrifices and meet the challenges of this period,” he said.
“We have obtained two deliveries of petrol and two of diesel through an Indian line of credit, which could provide relief in the coming days,” the Prime Minister added. But the country is also struggling with a shortage of 14 essential medicines, for which they also urgently need to make payments.
In the commercial capital of Colombo, there were very long lines at gas stations with auto-rickshaws, the most popular mode of transport in the city. They were waiting in vain for fuel. “I’ve been in line for over six hours,” said one of the drivers.