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Sri Lanka, soon to run out of fuel, continues to sink

Sri Lanka, soon to run out of fuel, continues to sink

Sri Lanka had never seen such queues. The island of 22 million people saw the “longest tails in its history” train around service stations, affirms The Daily Mirror. The country has only a very limited stock of gasoline and diesel.

The day before, the Minister of Energy, Kanchana Wijesekera, had warned that the country still had a stock of fuel of barely five days. Chronic shortages have worsened in recent days. According to a Sri Lankan trade union, around 85% of petrol stations in the country are running out of fuel.

Faced with the consequences on public transport, the government has decided to declare Friday as a day off for its employees who work in non-essential sectors.

“State employees will receive the necessary equipment to engage in agricultural activities, in their garden or elsewhere, during their exceptional Friday holiday, in order to alleviate the looming food crisis”, details the Daily Financial Times.

The Indian Ocean island has been sinking for months into a very serious economic crisis. Short of foreign currency, Sri Lanka, highly dependent on imports, lacks fuel, but also food, and lives to the rhythm of power cuts. The United Nations has expressed concern that the economic crisis will turn into a serious humanitarian crisis.

More and more Sri Lankans are trying to leave the country. “A boat of asylum seekers en route to Australia was intercepted by the Sri Lankan Navy [mercredi]”, reports Sky News Australia. The boat had 64 people on board. More than 300 Sri Lankans have already attempted to enter Australia illegally in recent weeks, according to the local media.

Others take the road to India. According The Hindu, more than 80 Tamils, including children and babies, have taken boats to Tamil Nadu in southern India in recent months.

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