ANKARA, May 17 (Bernama) — Crisis-hit Sri Lanka has run out of petrol, the newly appointed prime minister of the South Asian nation said Tuesday.
“We only have petrol stocks for a single day. The next couple of months will be the most difficult ones of our lives.
“The government is seeking US$75 million in foreign exchange to pay debts including for oil shipments,” Ranil Wickremesinghe said in a tweet.
Anadolu Agency quoting the tweet reported that the premier warned of power outages for up to 15 hours a day as the country relies on oil to generate electricity.
“We will face considerable challenges and adversity. However, this will not be for long. In the coming months, our foreign allies will assist us. They have already pledged their support,” he said.
People took to the streets at the end of March, protesting hours-long daily power cuts and shortages of food, fuel, and other vital goods after a foreign exchange shortage led to the country’s worst-ever economic crisis.
On May 9, clashes erupted between government supporters and protesters gathered around the Prime Minister’s Office, and military units were called to the capital Colombo.
Amid growing pressure from the opposition, Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped down as prime minister.
The government declared a nationwide curfew and ordered troops to open fire on anyone looting public property or causing harm to life.
In nationwide protests, eight people, including a ruling party deputy and two police officers, lost their lives and nearly 250 people were injured.