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

Mugshot of Rudy Giuliani, who was processed Monday, June 10, 2024, in the Arizona fake electors cas...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani posts $10K cash bond after being processed in Arizona fake electors case

Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and Donald Trump attorney, was processed Monday in the Arizona fake electors case.

2 days ago

FILE - White House former chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters at the White House, Wed...

Associated Press

Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows pleads not guilty in Arizona fake elector case

Former Donald Trump presidential chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump 2020 Election Day operations director Michael Roman pleaded not guilty Friday in Phoenix to nine felony charges for their roles in an effort to overturn Trump's Arizona election loss to Joe Biden.

5 days ago

deadly heat wave last summer...

Associated Press

After a deadly heat wave last summer, metro Phoenix is changing tactics

Fresh memories of the deadly heat wave last summer have led Arizona authorities to launch new tactics ahead of summer 2024.

16 days ago

A Yuma man has been arrested for allegedly starting a wildfire in a national wildlife preserve near...

Associated Press

Man accused of starting wildfire in national wildlife preserve in Yuma

A Yuma man has been arrested for allegedly starting a wildfire in a national wildlife preserve near the California border.

17 days ago

Colorado River settlement center of new Navajo Nation push...

Associated Press

Tribes say their future is at stake as they push for Congress to consider Colorado River settlement

Navajo officials are celebrating the signing of legislation outlining a proposed Colorado River settlement that would ensure water rights.

19 days ago

Colorado River settlement center of new Navajo Nation push...

Sponsored Content by

Navajo officials are celebrating the signing of legislation outlining a proposed Colorado River settlement that would ensure water rights.

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

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