Gencil News – VOA – Sri Lanka’s heavily indebted economy has collapsed after months of food, fuel and electricity shortages. That was the prime minister’s warning to lawmakers on Wednesday, in comments that underlined the precarious situation in the country as Sri Lanka seeks help from international creditors.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that the South Asian country “is facing a much more serious situation than shortages of fuel, gas, electricity and food. Our economy has completely collapsed.”
While the Sri Lankan crisis is considered the worst yet, Wickremesinghe’s claim that the economy is in total collapse does not cite any specific details of recent events.
It appears that this statement was intended to emphasize to his critics and opposition lawmakers that he inherited a difficult task that could not be immediately remedied, as the economy collapsed due to heavy debt, loss of tourism revenue and other effects. of the pandemic, as well as the increase in the prices of basic products.
Lawmakers from both main opposition parties are now boycotting parliament this week to protest Wickremesinghe, who became prime minister just a month ago and also serves as finance minister, for failing to deliver on his promises to restore the economy. .
Wickremesinghe said that Sri Lanka is now unable to buy imported fuel due to huge debts owed by the country’s oil companies.
Wickremesinghe took office after days of violent protests over the country’s economic crisis forced his predecessor to resign. In comments on Wednesday, he accused the previous administration of failing to act on Sri Lanka’s dwindling foreign exchange reserves.
The currency crisis has reduced imports, causing severe shortages of food, fuel and electricity, as well as other basic goods such as medicines. Sri Lankans have to stand in long queues to meet their basic needs.