HOME       Contact Us      Hire Us       Domestic Airlines        Railway Enquiry     Railway Booking     Hotels & Flights Abroad
NEIGHBOURS CALLING:      Dubai      Malaysia     Nepal     Bhutan
indiatraveltimes.com
COVID DATA April 1, 2022 INDIA: New Cases: 1,335 Total Cases: 4,30,25,775 New Deaths: 11 Old Unreported Deaths: 41 Total Deaths: 5,21,181 New Tests: 6,06,036 Total Tests: 78,97,70,958 New Vax: 23,57,917 Total Vax: 184,31,89,377 - India Travel Times.Com   [Estd: 1998]       * * *    Travel, More Travel, Travel Means A Million Things     * * *    
Emergency, curfew in Lanka as protests against shortages escalate

The island of 22 million people is facing its worst economic crisis since Independence in 1948. The acute shortage of essential commodities like food and fuel is forcing an exodus of people to neighbouring India. In response to Colombo's SOS, the Indian Government has started making emergency shipments of rice and diesel to the country.

COLOMBO, April 2: Amidst nationwide protests against shortages of essential commodities turning violent, the ruling Rajapaksas declared emergency in Lanka on Friday night and clamped a 36-hour curfew from Saturday evening in order to control the rebellion. Soldiers armed with automatic assault rifles have been deployed throughout the country.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said in a gazette notification that the decision was taken in the interests of public security, protection of public order and to ensure the maintenance of essential supplies.

The immediate cause of the national crisis is shortage of foreign exchange to import essential commodities like fuel. Without electricity and fuel all economic activities have come to a standstill. People have no food either. An exodus to India has begun.

Thousands of people have been protesting at the President's residence over shortages and inflation (18.7%) the past few days. Clashes have erupted. With a worsening economic crisis, hospitals are suspending routine surgeries and power supply is cut most of a day. Across the country people are queueing up for miles to buy kerosene, diesel and petrol. Troops have been deployed to control the crowds at fuel stations. The economic collapse is forcing people to seek refuge in neighbouring India.

Lanka has huge debt obligations in addition to dwindling foreign exchange reserves. Last month Colombo had devalued its currency to facilitate a deal with the IMF. The country is facing its worst crisis since independence.

The Buddhist proposals

Meanwhile, the Buddhist monks and Catholic priests called on the President to end the crisis. The Buddhist monks met the President and urged him to find ways to lower the cost of living, restructure debts, create a local economic model and encourage new investments in the country. They warned that Lanka is fast becoming a failed State. They asked the temples and churches to donate part of their wealth, especially gold, to the Government to recover from the crisis.

The ruling family

The entire country is ruled by just one family of Rajpaksas. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa (76) is President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's (72) elder brother; Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa (70) is younger brother; Irrigation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa (79) is the eldest; Youth and Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa is son of Mahinda; PM's Chief of Staff Yoshitha Rajapaksa is also Mahinda's son; Minister for Agriculture Shasheendra Rajapaksa is Chamal Rajapaksa's son; Director of Sri Lankan Airlines Shameendra Rajapaksa, also Chamal Rajapaksa's son.

The origin of the crisis

The seeds of the crisis were sown way back in 2007 when Colombo began borrowing money and Government bonds were sold in the capital market under Mahinda Rajapaksa's rule. The process continues. Much of it, about $10 billion, came from China, which is staking claim to the infrastructure they funded. The covid pandemic added to Lanka's woes by sapping revenues from tourism, the mainstay of the economy. And the public debt has become unsustainable. Colombo has sought aid from IMF, China and India - all of them promising help. India has started shipments of fuel and rice.

Previous Files
ARCHIVES



Neighbours
Calling

Bhutan
Nepal
Malaysia
Dubai

'Makaravilakku' celebrated at Sabarimala Ayyappa temple under covid protocol
Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn offers prayers at Sabarimala Ayyappa temple in Kerala
Eight Sabarimala pilgrims from Andhra, driver injured in bus mishap near Pampa
Uttarakhand withdraws Char Dham Management Act after two-year protests
Annapurna idol brought back from Canada installed in Kashi Vishwanath temple
Niranjani's Mahant Ravindra Puri to succeed Mahant Narendra Giri as Akhara Parishad president
Tamil film 'Koozhangal' selected as India's official entry for Oscars 2022

Fashion & Lifestyle
Cuisines
Yoga & Asanas
Fairs, Festivals & Melas
Religion & Cult
Pilgrimage
Art & Culture
History, Legends & Mythology
Ayurveda
Free Ayurveda Consultation
ARCHIVES
A Window On India
Fashion & Lifestyle
Yoga & Asanas
Fairs, Festivals & Melas
Religion & Cult
Pilgrimage
Art & Culture
History, Legends & Mythology
Ayurveda
News (Archives)
Travel News
Travel News Archives
Travel News Index

Custom Search