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Long queue at petrol pumps, daily power cuts:  Sri Lankan economic crisis worsen

Colombo: Sri Lankan anger mounting on the Rajapaksa government over the worst economic crisis, citizens have resorted to protests outside the Central Bank demanding the resignation of the Central Bank governor.

Long queues for fuel are common in the city and the city also goes for blackouts, people spend the night without power. Vehicles have been waiting in a queue to fill the fuel.

The lack of foreign currency has left the country unable to pay for vital imports. Even surgeries are also postponed in the hospital for a lack of essential medicines.

Two senior citizens died while they are waiting for petrol and kerosene. People have been queuing up at pumps for hours together and the country has been under frequent power cuts.

On Sunday Sri Lanka suspended operations at its only fuel refinery after crude oil stocks ran out, said Ashoka Ranwala the president of the Petroleum General Employees’ Union.

The country has been facing a seven-hour power outage since the beginning of the month. “There is a shortage of 750 megawatt due to non-availability of fuel to generate thermal power,” the chair of the Public Utilities Commission Janaka Ratnayaka said.

The Ceylon Electricity Board said in a statement that they were “compelled to take demand management measures due to inadequate power generation, as a result of fuel shortage and unavailability of generators.”

State-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has asked motorists not to queue outside fuel stations on Wednesday and Thursday to purchase diesel as it was unable to pay for a shipment that had arrived. It was, however, not clear from where the shipment had arrived. The CPC said the unloading of the ship would happen only on Friday (April 1).

Energy minister Gamini Lokuge said the government will make an urgent purchase of 6,000 metric tonnes of diesel from LIOC, the Lanka subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation. “It will be used for emergency services and power generation,” he said. Lokuge said a shipment of diesel under the Indian credit line was expected Thursday.

Trucks at the port are unable to cart food and building materials to other urban centres or bring back tea from plantations dotted around Sri Lanka’s verdant inland hills.

Buses that normally transport day labourers across the capital sit idle, some hospitals have suspended routine surgeries, and student exams were postponed this month because schools ran out of paper.

ಸತ್ಯದ ಪಥಕ್ಕೆ ಬಲ ತುಂಬಲು ದೇಣಿಗೆ ನೀಡಿ. ನಿಮ್ಮಗಳ ಬೆಂಬಲವೇ ನಮಗೆ ಬಲ. ಈ ಕೆಳಗಿನ ಲಿಂಕ್ ಮೂಲಕ ದೇಣಿಗೆ ನೀಡಿ

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