- New Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says the country desperately needs to secure $75m to pay for essential imports.
Sri Lanka’s newly appointed prime minister has said that the cash-strapped island nation has run out of petrol stock, as he said the country desperately needed to secure $75m in foreign exchange in the next few days to pay for essential imports, including medicine.
“We have run out of petrol … At the moment, we only have petrol stocks for a single day,” Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Monday in an address to the nation, as the country suffers from fuel and medicine shortages.
He said the government was also unable to raise dollars to pay for three shipments of oil, with the ships awaiting outside the Colombo harbour for payments before discharging their cargoes.
“The coming months are going to be the hardest this country has ever gone through,” Al Jazeera’s Minelle Fernandez said, reporting from the capital Colombo. “Obviously this affects all factors of life, not just the industrial sector and the manufacturing sector, but also day-to-day life, children going to school – every aspect you can think of, you name it.”
“So far the people did not have a clear picture of how bad things were. We kept getting reassured by successive politicians and that didn’t help as people had almost a false sense of optimism that things would be ok,” she added.
- News Agencies