New Delhi, April 2
India has started an emergency shipment of 40,000 tons of rice while the fourth shipment of 40,000 tons of diesel arrived in Sri Lanka on a day when the Rajapaksa regime imposed a 36-hour curfew and a national public emergency.
The shipment of rice ahead of a major festival and diesel to supply the nation with electricity on and off precedes a major Sinhalese festival.
- With a severe shortage of fuel, people have abandoned vehicles on the roads
- The government recently had to deploy the military to gas pumps to provide security
- Several people have died while queuing at gas stations
Mega bailout wrap
40K tons of rice sent before the great festival
40K tons of diesel shipped to provide electricity
$900 million worth the extended help since january
$1.5 billion additional help in the pipeline
Rajapaksa’s regime, which was rocked by a crowd attempting to storm the presidential palace on Friday, is preparing for more organized and opposition-led nationwide protests on Sunday against the government’s mishandling of the economic crisis. A confrontation could loom as the imposition of a curfew would prevent citizens from organizing demonstrations.
Sri Lanka is desperately short of foreign currency after a series of economically disastrous events including the pandemic and a terrorist attack followed by missteps by the Rajapaksa government.
The fourth shipment of diesel from India will keep essential services running in a country where 12-hour power cuts have become routine and vehicles have been left on the roads due to lack of fuel.
The severe economic crisis in Sri Lanka has raised the specter of undocumented migration to India. More than a week ago, six Sri Lankan nationals were rescued by the Indian Coast Guard after becoming stranded on an island.
Colombo sent a positive signal by signing a joint venture with India for a 100 MW solar power plant in Trincomalee. On the security front, Colombo hosted a conference of NSAs from countries in the region for a collective approach to maritime security.
Ex-prez calls for a multi-party government
Colombo: Former Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s Freedom Party has called on President Rajapaksa to form a multi-party government to overcome the country’s worst economic crisis and said he could quit the alliance if his demand was met ignored. PTI
Fourth batch of diesel
India has sent a fourth shipment of diesel to keep essential services running in Sri Lanka, where 12-hour power cuts have become routine