Sri Lankan officials are expected to release 3,200 metric tons of cooking gas to the public today amid an ongoing shortage.
Last weekend’s shipment of 33,000 metric tons of cooking gas is expected to ease desperation among citizens in the wake of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s flight from the country and subsequent promise to relinquish his presidency amid Sri Lanka’s economic crisis.
Over the last few months, civilians have lined up endlessly for fuel and cooking gas as shortages exacerbated by inflation spiraled out of control. Protestors continue to retain control over the president’s home and office as well as the prime minister’s home after storming the grounds on Saturday.
While Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has taken over as acting president, Sri Lanka’s political and economic crises are expected to extend across the medium-term. Wickremesinghe’s unpopularity only adds to the de-facto shut-down of the government. It is estimated that Sri Lanka will require $6 billion by the end of this year only to ensure that basic goods can be provided. A credit line with India is currently keeping the nation afloat in the short-term; however, relief from Sri Lanka’s debilitating foreign debt of $51 billion may only come from an emergency bail out from the IMF.
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Sabrine is an Analyst for Foreign Brief and a graduate student at Yonsei University in South Korea, specializing in foreign policy and security in East Asia. Previously, she contributed as a freelance writer for online publications and worked as a sub-editor for the Daily NK.