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Thursday, December 08, 2022

Truck driver dies after waiting in queue for 5 days at Lanka fuel station

Truck Driver Dies After Waiting In Queue For 5 Days At Lanka Fuel Station

The total external debt of troubled Sri Lanka is $51 billion.

Colombo:

A 63-year-old truck driver has died in Sri Lanka after standing in line for five days at a filling station in the country’s Western Province, the 10th death reported due to a long wait to purchase fuel in the debt-ridden island nation. Has been. With the worst economic crisis since independence, according to a media report on Thursday.

Police said the man was found dead inside his vehicle after waiting in a queue at the filling station in Anguravatota.

The death toll in the queues has now gone up to 10 and all the victims are males in the age group of 43 to 84 years. The Daily Mirror newspaper reported that most of the deaths in the queue were due to cardiac arrest.

A week ago, a 53-year-old man died while waiting in a queue for several hours at a fuel station in Panadura, Colombo. It is being told that the person died of a heart attack while waiting in the queue in a three-wheeler.

Sri Lanka, home to around 22 million, is currently facing its worst economic crisis in more than 70 years. Sri Lanka’s economy is facing extreme fuel shortages, rising food prices and a shortage of medicines.

The current shortage was made worse by the government’s inability to open letters of credit to the government-owned Bank of Ceylon for fuel imports.

In a circular, the Ministry of Public Administration said that as a measure to deal with fuel shortage and consequent transportation difficulties, state sector employees are allowed to consider Friday, June 17, as a holiday. This will be applicable for the next three months.

A special holiday was given in all the schools on Friday due to traffic problems. Privately owned bus operators said that they are doing only 20 per cent of the services due to fuel shortage.

State employees are encouraged to engage in agricultural activities during the Friday holiday as a measure to mitigate the ensuing food crisis.

The country is facing long queues at filling stations as the government finds it difficult to finance fuel imports to maintain sufficient reserves for at least three months. A move to ration fuel is to be implemented from next month as the foreign exchange crisis worsens.

In an unusual move, envoys from the United States and the United Nations on Sunday urged Sri Lankan security forces to understand the frustration of civilians spending hours in long lines for essentials, and to investigate excessive use of force quickly. Emphasis on need. against the public.

The appeals of the two envoys came a day after clashes broke out between people queuing for fuel and army personnel at Vishwamadu, Mulaitivu.

The nearly bankrupt country, coupled with an acute foreign exchange crisis that resulted in foreign debt defaults, announced in April that it would suspend foreign debt repayments of about $7 billion for the year, out of about $25 billion due by 2026. doing.

Sri Lanka’s total external debt is $51 billion.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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