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Sri Lanka economic crisis: What we know so far

Sri Lankan army commandos walk past a damaged bus after it was set on fire by demonstrators at the top of the road to Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's residence during a protest against him. (REUTERS)Premium
Sri Lankan army commandos walk past a damaged bus after it was set on fire by demonstrators at the top of the road to Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's residence during a protest against him. (REUTERS)

  • Sri Lanka economic crisis: A foreign exchange crunch in Sri Lanka has led to a shortage of essential goods such as fuel and cooking gas. Power cuts that last up to 13 hours a day.

Shops opened in Sri Lanka's capital city Colombo amid tight security on Saturday - the first day after a state of emergency was declared to tackle growing unrest amid an unprecedented economic crisis.

Sri Lanka economic crisis: 10 updates

The island nation of 22 million people is grappling with rolling blackouts for up to 13 hours a day as the government scrambles to secure foreign exchange to pay for fuel imports.

Sri Lanka is currently experiencing its worst economic crisis in history. With long lines for fuel, cooking gas, essentials in short supply and long hours of power cuts the public has been suffering for weeks.

The Sri Lankan government has said it is seeking a bailout from the International Monetary Fund while asking for fresh loans from India and China.

A foreign exchange crunch in Sri Lanka has led to a shortage of essential goods such as fuel and cooking gas. Power cuts that last up to 13 hours a day.

Rajapaksa has defended his government's actions, saying the foreign exchange crisis was not his making and the economic downturn was largely pandemic driven where the island’s tourism revenue and inward remittances waning.

Sri Lanka's currency has been also devalued by almost SLR 90 against the US dollar since March 8.

The latest official data released Friday showed inflation in Colombo hit 18.7 percent in March, the sixth consecutive monthly record. Food prices soared a record 30.1 percent.

Colombo imposed a broad ban on imports in March 2020 in a bid to save foreign currency needed to repay nearly $7.0 billion this year to service its $51 billion debt.

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Friday declared a state of emergency giving security forces sweeping powers a day after hundreds of people tried to storm his residence amid an unprecedented economic crisis.

IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters in Washington on Thursday that talks should begin "in the coming days", with the president's youngest brother, finance minister Basil Rajapaksa, expected in the US capital.

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