(Natural News) Thousands of Sri Lankans lined up for cooking fuel on May 20 in the commercial capital Colombo. Many residents took the chance to stock up on much-needed fuel amid the country’s economic collapse.
Lines formed in many parts of Colombo, home to around 900,000 people, as fuel deliveries arrived. In one distribution center, soldiers armed with automatic rifles guarded a truck loaded with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders. People standing in line applauded as the truck stopped at the center and fresh cylinders were readied.
Hundreds of Colombo residents showed up at the center with empty LPG cylinders. Part-time driver Mohammad Shazly, who has a family of five, was among those in line. He complained that “only about 200 cylinders were delivered, even though there were about 500 people” at the distribution center.
“Without gas [or] kerosene, we can’t do anything. What last option? Without food, we are going to die. That will happen [one] hundred percent,” lamented Shazly. (Related: Sri Lanka running out of fuel, has enough supply for only one more day.)
Vijitha Herath, chairman of the state-run fuel provider Litro Gas, said they hope to start distributing 80,000 cylinders a day beginning May 21. Unfortunately, Herath’s plan failed to materialize as Litro Gas announced on May 23 that cooking fuel will not be distributed the following day.
“The general public is requested not to wait in line for LPG,” said the state-run firm.
Aside from short fuel supply, higher prices triggered by inflation has also battered the island nation in South Asia. The price of a 12.5-kilogram LPG cylinder for cooking has risen to almost 5,000 Sri Lankan rupees ($13.72) from only 2,675 rupees ($7.34) in April.
The Sri Lankan government called for tenders to procure additional LPG supplies to address the problem. Under a bigger $1 billion credit line from India, the country seeks to obtain $120 million worth of cooking fuel.
Sri Lanka also facing food shortage
Lack of fuel is not the only problem Sri Lanka is facing. It is also set to experience food collapse following a now-rescinded ban on fertilizers.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe warned of an impending food shortage due to insufficient fertilizer stocks, calling on citizens via a Twitter post to “accept the gravity of the situation.”
A ban imposed by Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on all chemical fertilizers in April 2021 impacted crop yields. Even though the government has rescinded the ban, no substantial fertilizer imports have taken place as of writing. The prime minister vowed to buy enough fertilizer for the next planting season.
“While there may not be time to obtain fertilizer for this Yala [planting] season, steps are being taken to ensure adequate stocks for the Maha season,” tweeted Wickremesinghe. The Yala season runs from May to August, while the Maha season runs from September to March.
Neighboring countries have offered to pass the hat in aid of Sri Lanka. The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it would provide an emergency grant of $3 million to the country, citing the two nations’ long-standing economic ties.
The Sri Lankan prime minister tweeted on May 22 that the country received two billion Sri Lankan rupees’ ($5.49 million) worth of humanitarian aid from India – including milk powder, rice and medicines – on that day.
Wickremesinghe expressed his “sincere gratitude” to the people of India for their support. He also thanked M.K. Stalin, chief minister of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, for the much-needed aid. The Tamil language connects both Sri Lanka and the southern Indian state as it is widely spoken in both areas.
FuelSupply.news has more stories about fuel shortages.
Watch the video below featuring a speech by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe warning of insufficient fuel supply.
This video is from the InfoWars channel on Brighteon.com.
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