Sri Lankan officials are expected to release 3,200 metric tonnes of cooking gas to the public today amid continued shortages.
Last weekend’s shipment of 33,000 metric tons of cooking gas is expected to assuage citizens’ despair following President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s flight from the country and the promise to relinquish his presidency amid Sri Lanka’s economic crisis.
In recent months, civilians have lined up endlessly for fuel and cooking gas as shortages exacerbated by inflation spiral out of control. Protesters continue to maintain control of the President’s home and office as well as the Prime Minister’s home after storming the grounds on Saturday.
As Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has taken over as interim president, Sri Lanka’s political and economic crises are expected to spread over the medium term. Wickremesinghe’s unpopularity only adds to the de facto closure of the government. It is estimated that Sri Lanka will need $6 billion by the end of this year just to ensure that basic goods can be provided. A line of credit with India is currently keeping the nation afloat in the short term; however, relief from Sri Lanka’s debilitating $51 billion external debt can only come from an emergency IMF bailout.
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