scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Saturday, June 25, 2022

Sri Lanka News Highlights: One dead, several injured as protesters clash with police in Rambukkana

Sri Lanka Economic Crisis Highlights, Colombo Protest Updates, 19 April 2022: Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa became the only member of the Rajapaksa family to retain a cabinet position as his older brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, swore in 17 ministers on Monday.

By: Express Web Desk |
Updated: April 20, 2022 12:32:27 pm
Sri Lanka Economic Crisis, Sri Lanka crisisSri Lanka Crisis Live: Demonstrators hold Sri Lankan national flags and shout slogans during a protest against Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, near the Presidential Secretariat, amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo. (Reuters)

Sri Lanka Highlights: One person has died and over 10 people injured after police and protesters clashed in Rambukkana Tuesday afternoon. According to the Daily Mirror, the protesters we seen hurling stones at the police station following the incident.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund will consider providing quick financial assistance to debt-burdened Sri Lanka following representations by India, Sri Lanka’s finance ministry said. Shamir Zavahir, an aide to Sabry, said on Twitter that Sri Lanka asked for a loan under the rapid financial instrument (RFI) window, meant for countries needing urgent balance-of-payment support.

Sri Lanka’s embattled Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has proposed to amend the Constitution to create an accountable administration that met the people’s aspirations, amid large scale protests against the government over its handling of the economy. Sri Lanka’s president acknowledged Monday that he made mistakes that led to the country’s worst economic crisis in decades and pledged to correct them.

Live Blog

Sri Lanka Live News Updates: Sri Lanka is on the brink of bankruptcy, with nearly US $7 billion of its total US $25 billion in foreign debt due for repayment this year; Follow this space for Latest Updates

22:30 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Condemn violence and call for restraint: US Ambassador to Sri Lanka

The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, while expressing his condolensces about the clashes that led to the death of a person, said: "I am deeply saddened by the horrible news coming out of Rambukkana. I condemn any violence - whether against protesters or police - and call for restraint & calm from all sides. A full, transparent investigation is essential & the people's right to peaceful protest must be upheld"

22:20 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Number of injured rise to 24 as protesters clash with police

One person has died and 24 people were injured from gunshot injuries after protestors and police clashed in Rambukkana this afternoon. Eight policemen are also injured, the cops said. (Reuters)

20:37 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Crisis-hit Sri Lanka, India revive talks to link electric grids

India and Sri Lanka have resumed talks on linking their electricity grids, officials told Reuters on Tuesday, a step that could aid New Delhi's goal of reducing China's influence on the island nation, now grappling with a severe economic crisis.

There was no immediate prospect that power cuts brought by the crisis could be eased by the talks, which are a preliminary effort on a multi-year project both sides have explored before. India has extended assistance running into billions of dollars to its southern neighbour to fight the crisis, brought on by a steep drop in foreign exchange reserves that stalled imports of essentials such as fuel, so disrupting power supply. 'It is at very initial stages of discussion,' Wasantha Perera, secretary of Sri Lanka's power ministry, told Reuters, but gave no further details.

Protests and political turmoil brought on by rocketing inflation, a currency devaluation and shortages have spurred the nation of 22 million to begin talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a loan programme, also backed by India. Now officials of both countries are turning to a project that has made little progress since it was first proposed more than a decade ago, aiming to link the neighbours with a miles-long transmission line running under the Indian Ocean. The grid connection project came up in talks with India's power ministry in March, when Basil Rajapaksa, then Sri Lanka's finance minister, visited New Delhi to seek assistance, said a source with knowledge of the matter. 'It will be mutually beneficial,' added the source, who sought anonymity, as the talks were private. (Reuters)

19:20 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Police confirm they opened fire on protesters at Rambukkana: Report

Police Spokesperson SSP Nihal Thalduwa has confirmed that they had opened fire in Rambukkana after a group of protestors and the cops clashed, according to a report by Daily Mirror. The report quoted SSP Nihal as saying that the protestors had attempted to set a three-wheeler on fire when the cops fired tear gas cannisters. However, they started pelting stones after which the police were forced to open fire, the spokesperson said according to the report.

19:09 (IST)19 Apr 2022
One dead, several injured as protesters clash with police

One person has died and over 10 people injured after police and protesters clashed in Rambukkana Tuesday afternoon. According to the Daily Mirror, the protesters we seen hurling stones at the police station following the incident.

18:01 (IST)19 Apr 2022
List of ministers who were sworn in

In case you’ve missed, here is a list of the ministers who were sworn in:

  1. G L Peiris: State Minister of Defence
  2. Rohana Dissanayake: State Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government
  3. Arundika Fernando: State Minister of Plantation Industries
  4. Lohan Ratwatte: State Minister of Urban Development
  5. Tharaka Balasuriya: State Minister of Foreign Affairs
  6. Indika Anuruddha: State Minister of Housing
  7. Sanath Nishantha: State Minister of Water Supply
  8. Siripala Gamlath: State Minister of Mahaweli
  9. Anuradha Jayaratne: State Minister of Irrigation
  10. Sisira Jayakody: State Minister of Indigenous Medicine
  11. Prasanna Ranaweera: State Minister of Industries
  12. D V Chanaka: State Minister of Tourism / State Minister of Tourism
  13. D B Herath: State Minister of Livestock
  14. Kader Masthan: State Minister of Rural Economic Crop Cultivation & Promotion
  15. Ashoka Priyantha: State Minister of Trade
  16. A Aravind Kumar: State Minister of Estate Housing and Community Infrastructure
  17. Geetha Kumarasinghe: State Minister of Culture and Performing Arts
  18. Gunapala Rathnasekara: State Minister of Co-operative Services, Marketing Development and Consumer Protection
  19. Kapila Nuwan Athukorala: State Minister of Minor Export Crop Development
  20. Dr Gayashan Nawananda: State Minister of Health
  21. Surendra Ragawan: State Minister of Education Services & Reforms
  22. Dayana Gamage: State Minister of Transport
  23. Seetha Arambepola: State Minister of Education and Technology
  24. Vijitha Berugoda: State Minister of Ports and Shipping
15:57 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Life 'very hard' for Sri Lanka fishermen in financial squall

After three weeks at sea, Anton Fernando tallies his sales of tuna and other fish on a dock in Negombo, a fishing town in Sri Lanka, where the country's financial crisis darkens already murky waters.

The math does not look good for Fernando and his crew of four among the dozen gently bobbing trawlers. Each takes home 40,000 Sri Lankan rupees ($130) from their gruelling expedition. “This will not be enough to cover their household expenses,” Fernando, 44, told Reuters, holding up a notebook scribbled with numbers. “Even before we go home, we know this isn't enough to cover electricity and water bills, tuition fees and food.” The island nation of 22 million people off the southern tip of India is battling its worst financial crisis since independence in 1948, as COVID-19, mismanaged government finances and ill-timed tax cuts sap dwindling foreign reserves.

Last week the central bank said it was suspending repayment on some of its foreign debt pending a restructure. In the commercial capital Colombo, protesters crowd the streets demanding the ouster of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa as people deal with skyrocketing prices, prolonged power cuts and shortages of medicine, fuel and other items. In Negombo, the fisherman struggle to stay afloat. Fishing makes up just 1.3% of the Southeast Asian nation's economy, but it employs one-tenth of its people and helps feed far more. (Reuters)

15:26 (IST)19 Apr 2022
In Photos: Protests rage on across Sri Lanka as country battles economic crisis

Sri Lankans chant anti-government slogans during a protest outside the President's office in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Monday. Sri Lanka's President appointed 17 new Cabinet ministers on Monday as he and his powerful family seek to resolve a political crisis resulting from the country's dire economic state. (AP Photo)
Sri Lankans hold placards during a protest outside the President's office in Colombo (AP Photo)
A protester carries a trash bin with a poster of president Gotabaya Rajapqaksa pasted on it. (AP Photo)

14:32 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Delhi must shore up outreach to Colombo, while underlining that aid is for the people, not a lifeline to Rajapaksas

As Sri Lanka begins talks with the International Monetary Fund this week, there is much that Delhi can do to assist its island neighbour as it struggles to overcome a grave and unprecedented economic crisis.

India has already extended assistance worth $2.4 billion since January. Two elements of this package are credit lines, one for fuel worth $500 m, and the other for food and other essential items worth $1 bn. Delhi has swung these high value credit lines in a record time of four months, between December 2021 and March this year.

However, these will run out by the end of May. Read more

14:31 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Opinion | In Jaffna waters, India sinks China bid, but an old net problem rises

It is here, on this island off the Jaffna peninsula in the Northern Province, where India has displaced China to sign a pact with the Sri Lankan government for a joint renewable energy project.

Its 5,000 inhabitants, all fisherfolk, are unaware of the intense geopolitical jostling over their island and two others nearby, Nainatheevu and Analatheevu, that went on most of last year as Delhi successfully persuaded Colombo to cancel a project awarded to a Chinese company, and offered its own instead. Read more

12:17 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Sri Lanka says IMF to consider request for rapid aid

The International Monetary Fund will consider providing quick financial assistance to debt-burdened Sri Lanka following representations by India, Sri Lanka's finance ministry said.

A delegation headed by Sri Lanka's Finance Minister Ali Sabry kicked off formal talks with the IMF in Washington on Monday for a programme the government hopes will help top up its reserves and attract bridge financing to pay for essential imports of fuel, food and medicines.

Shamir Zavahir, an aide to Sabry, said on Twitter that Sri Lanka asked for a loan under the rapid financial instrument (RFI) window, meant for countries needing urgent balance-of-payment support. But the global lender was initially not inclined to grant the request, he said. (Reuters)

11:05 (IST)19 Apr 2022
PM Mahinda Rajapaksa proposes to amend Constitution to create accountable administration

Sri Lanka's embattled Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has proposed to amend the Constitution to create an accountable administration that met the people's aspirations, amid large scale protests against the government over its handling of the economy.

A statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office on Monday said that Mahinda Rajapaksa intends to propose a new Constitutional Amendment to the Cabinet in order to fulfil the people's aspirations.

The Prime Minister is expected to propose to the Cabinet a Constitutional Amendment that would include the Executive, Judiciary and the Legislature, the state-run Daily News newspaper reported.

10:24 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Sri Lanka's state-run oil company raises fuel price amidst worst economic crisis

Sri Lanka's state oil entity has raised its retail price from Monday midnight, a day after the Indian Oil Company's local operation raised its prices, adding to the woes of the people who are impacted by the island nation's worst economic crisis.

The state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation's (CPC) new price of 92 octane petrol Rs 338 per litre is an increase of Rs 84 and now matches the per litre price of Lankan Indian oil company (LIOC). This was the second price hike by CPC within a month whereas the LIOC's yesterday hike was the fifth in six months.

The CPC officials said the high global prices and the depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee against the dollar after the government decision on March 7 to have a free float was the main cause. (PTI)

10:23 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Nirmala Sitharaman meets Sri Lankan counterpart to discuss economic situation

India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met her Sri Lankan counterpart Ali Sabry on the sidelines of IMF-WB Spring Meetings and discussed the current economic situation and its approach towards addressing the prevailing challenges in Sri Lanka.

The finance minister assured Sabry that as a close friend and good neighbour, India will try to extend all possible cooperation and assistance.

10:21 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Sri Lankan president admits mistakes led to economic crisis

Sri Lanka's president acknowledged Monday that he made mistakes that led to the country's worst economic crisis in decades and pledged to correct them.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa made the admission while speaking to 17 new Cabinet ministers he appointed Monday as he and his powerful family seek to resolve a political crisis resulting from the country's dire economic state.

Sri Lanka is on the brink of bankruptcy, with nearly USD 7 billion of its total USD 25 billion in foreign debt due for repayment this year. A severe shortage of foreign exchange means the country lacks money to buy imported goods. (AP)

Sri Lanka has made a request to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) support to mitigate supply chain issues, a finance minister aide said in a tweet. However, the IMF holds the view that Sri Lanka does not meet its criteria, Shamir Zavahir said, adding that the IMF appears to be positive toward granting an Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

Meanwhile, the Cabinet appointments by Rajapaksa follow weeks of protests over shortages of fuel and food and demands that Rajapaksa, his politically powerful family and his government resign. Much public anger has been directed at Rajapaksa and his elder brother, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. They head an influential clan that has held power for most of the past two decades. Thousands of protesters occupied the entrance to the president’s office for a 10th day on Monday.

In other news, Sri Lankans protesting for days near the president’s office criticized a lack of progress in finding those responsible for the deaths of more than 260 people in Islamic State-inspired bombings on Easter Sunday three years ago. The protesters demanded the government uncover what they called the real conspirators behind the attacks on three churches — two Catholic and one Protestant — that included simultaneous suicide bombings during Easter celebrations on April 21, 2019.

  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by indianexpress.com.