AP

Sri Lankan students demand government resign over crisis

Jun 20, 2022, 7:17 AM | Updated: 8:57 am

Sri Lankan student Buddhist monks shout slogans as they march demanding President Gotabaya Rajapaks...

Sri Lankan student Buddhist monks shout slogans as they march demanding President Gotabaya Rajapaksa resign over the economic crisis in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, June 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

(AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Thousands of students from state universities marched in Sri Lanka’s capital on Monday to demand the president and prime minister resign over an economic crisis that has caused severe shortages of essential supplies and disrupted people’s livelihoods and education.

The students say President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is responsible for the economic crisis, the worst since independence in 1948, and that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who took over the position a little more than a month ago promising to end shortages, has not delivered on his pledges.

Sri Lanka is nearly bankrupt and has suspended repayment of $7 billion in foreign debt due this year. It must also pay back more than $5 billion every year until 2026. Its foreign reserves are nearly gone and it is unable to import food, fuel, cooking gas and medicines. A lack of fuel to run power stations has resulted in long daily power cuts.

In recent months people have been forced to stand in long lines to buy fuel and gas, and the country has survived mostly on credit lines extended by neighboring India to buy fuel and other essentials.

With that credit also running out, authorities have shut schools and instructed teachers to teach online, and have asked non-essential government employees to work from home for one week to preserve limited stocks of fuel.

Officials from the International Monetary Fund are currently in Sri Lanka to discuss a bailout package.

Monthslong protests have nearly dismantled the Rajapaksa political dynasty that has ruled Sri Lanka for most of the past two decades.

One of Rajapaksa’s brothers resigned as prime minister last month, and two other brothers and a nephew quit their Cabinet posts earlier.

President Rajapaksa has admitted he did not take steps to forestall the economic collapse early enough, but has refused to leave office. It is nearly impossible to oust a president under the constitution unless he resigns on his own accord.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Kamala Harris speaking at podium...

Associated Press

Harris has support of enough Democratic delegates to become party’s presidential nominee

Vice President Kamala Harris won the backing of more than two-thirds of the Democratic delegates she needs to become her party's nominee and set a fundraising record Monday, as top Democrats rallied to her in their bid to defeat Republican Donald Trump.

2 days ago

Global technology outage causes chaos on Friday morning...

Associated Press

Faulty software update causes havoc worldwide for airlines, hospitals and governments

A global technology outage grounded flights, knocked banks and hospital systems offline and media outlets off air on Friday morning.

5 days ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives during the second day of th...

Associated Press

Donald Trump celebrated by former rivals at Republican National Convention

Former president Donald Trump was celebrated at the Republican National Convention by former rivals, including Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis.

7 days ago

FILE - Members of the Henderson Fire Department load Deb Billet, 66, into an ambulance before trans...

Associated Press

Things to know about heat deaths as a dangerously hot summer shapes up in the western US

A dangerously hot summer is shaping up in the U.S. West, with heat suspected in dozens of recent deaths.

11 days ago

FILE - Dr. Ruth Westheimer participates in the "Ask Dr. Ruth" panel during the Hulu presentation at...

Associated Press

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the sex therapist who became a pop icon, has died

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the sex therapist who became a pop icon, media star and best-selling author, has died.

11 days ago

Biden proposes rule to protect 36 million workers from extreme heat...

Associated Press

Biden proposes new rule to protect 36 million workers from extreme heat

President Joe Biden on Tuesday proposed a new rule to address excessive heat in the workplace, warning — as tens of millions of people in the U.S. are under heat advisories — that high temperatures are the country's leading weather-related killer.

22 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Sri Lankan students demand government resign over crisis