Sri Lankan President Declares Urgency To Ensure Political Stability – Info Dep

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ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lankan president’s decision to declare a state of emergency was aimed at “ensuring political stability” and thus ensuring public safety and the uninterrupted provision of essential services, the government said on Saturday.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared the emergency law for the second time in five weeks amid public outcry over his mishandling of economic policies and growing demand for his resignation. He defied the calls and said he had not created any economic crisis.

“Sri Lanka is currently facing the worst economic crisis and political instability ever.
Independence due to multiple short-term and long-term reasons,” the government’s Department of Information said in a statement.

He said recent protests by the public, including trade unions, have disrupted essential services, including fuel distribution, paralyzed public transport, including rail service, and disrupted the daily functions of hospitals, causing inconvenience to patients.

The protests have also disrupted the functioning of manufacturing industries, including the garment sector, school students, the attendance of workers attached to public and private sector factories while disrupting daily life and thus aggravating the economic crisis. .

“Thus, in order to ensure public safety, to continue the uninterrupted supply of essential goods and services and to ensure the smooth flow of public transport; in accordance with the powers given to the President under the Public Security Ordinance, emergency regulations have been declared,” the public information department said.

“The state of emergency was imposed as a short-term measure to alleviate the crisis, and it will be lifted immediately after normalcy returns to the island.”

Thousands of Sri Lankans have started protesting in the streets against the government’s failure to demand the continued supply of essentials such as medicine, fuel, cooking gas and powdered milk as well as an uninterrupted power supply .

The US$84.5 billion economy has already suspended foreign debt repayments as it depleted its foreign exchange reserves.

The protests also come as the island nation faces its worst food crisis after the president’s overnight decision to ban chemical fertilizers hit harvest across the country.

Last month, President Rajapaksa said the ban on fertilizers and the postponement of the decision to seek International Monetary Fund (IMF) aid were “mistakes”, while Finance Minister Ali Sabry said the last week that a tax cut in 2019 was a historic mistake.

Most of the youth-led protesters say President Rajapaksa was responsible for the current crisis which has now worsened with the rupiah depreciating more than 80% in two months as he was either indecisive or delaying decisions crucial.

The Department of Public Information, in its statement, said that the most urgent challenge facing the country is to deal with the economic crisis and the debt crisis as soon as possible.

“Discussions have already been opened with IMF-led multilateral institutions and friendly countries to secure financial assistance and restructure outstanding debt, and the outcome of these discussions is positive.” It said. (Colombo/08/05/2022)


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