Colombo: Amid the brewing economic crisis in Sri Lanka, a large number of people including former cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya joined the ongoing protest at Galle Face, the main beachfront in the capital Colombo, outside Sri Lankan President’s secretariat for the 8th day.
Jayasuriya joined the student-led demonstration that has been taking place outside the Sri Lankan President’s secretariat for the past eight days.
Jayasuriya was seen being cheered by the crowd as he announced his support for the cause. The demonstrators want President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to step down, accusing him of dragging the country into its biggest crisis since independence.
A police sergeant was arrested for joining the protest at the Galle Face Green area in uniform and making a statement to the media. He was later released on bail after he was produced in court on Friday.
Here Are The Highlights Of The Lankan Crisis
- Sri Lanka’s opposition demanded President Rajapaksa’s resignation over the country’s worsening shortages of food, fuel, and medicines.
- 26 Sri Lankan Cabinet Ministers resigned en masse from their positions amid rising public anger.
- Protests against the government in different parts of the country. A 36-hour nationwide curfew is already in force after protests outside the residence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
- Sri Lanka’s economy has been in a free fall since the COVID-19 pandemic due to the crash of the tourism sector.
- Sri Lanka’s currency has been also devalued by almost SLR 90 against the US dollar since March 8.
- Buses in Colombo sit idle while some hospitals have suspended routine surgeries. Exams were postponed this month because schools ran out of paper.
- Island nations facing a foreign exchange shortage which has led to a fuel, power and gas shortage and have sought the assistance of friendly countries for economic assistance.
- India delivered 40,000 MT of diesel to Sri Lanka to help ease the power crisis in the island country.
- India provided more than $500 million in foreign currency swaps to strengthen Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves, taking the total up to $900 million.
- India also extended the repayment time frame for the $500 million debt of Sri Lanka under the Asian Clearance Arbitration.
- On March 17, Sri Lanka signed a $1 billion credit line deal with India for the procurement of food, medicines and other essential items during Sri Lankan Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksha’s two-day visit to India.