Watch: Massive protest outside Sri Lanka President Gotabaya's office as crisis worsens

Published on May 19, 2022 10:25 PM IST

Protesters have been demanding the Sri Lankan president's resignation ever since the country plunged into crisis.

Massive protest outside Sri Lanka President Gotabaya's office amid crisis (ANI)
Massive protest outside Sri Lanka President Gotabaya's office amid crisis (ANI)
Written by Manjiri Sachin Chitre | Edited by Sohini Goswami

A large number of protesters on Thursday gathered outside Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa's office, furious over the one of the worst economic crisis plaguing the island nation.

In a video posted by news agency ANI, a massive gathering could be seen outside the President’s house amid a huge number of security forces deployed at the spot.

Protesters have been demanding the Sri Lankan president's resignation ever since the country plunged into crisis.

Also read: Help us to get global support for economic recovery, Lankan envoy asks NSA Doval

The island nation is struggling to get essential supplies, including food, cooking gas, fuel and medicine.

Central bank governor Nandalal Weerasinghe during a briefing on Thursday said the country “would not be able to make payments until its debt is restructured and the country is in pre-emptive default”. The central bank governor added that “there is an urgent need for the new leaders of the country to bring the economic situation to stability”.

The default came after a 30-day grace period to repay $78m of debt interest payments expired on Wednesday.

Also read: ‘Looks a lot like Sri Lanka’: Rahul Gandhi's swipe at Centre over price rise

Weerasinghe further said the country will be lowering the amount of foreign currency that individuals can hold to $10,000 from $15,000. He added that the government will penalise anyone who holds foreign currency for more than three months by making it against the law. The country's central bank chief also urged people to deposit excess foreign currency in a bank or convert it into local currency within two weeks.

Sri Lanka has a total foreign debt of $51 billion. However, as per the Sri Lankan finance ministry, the country has only $25 million in usable foreign reserves.

(With agency inputs)

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