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  • Dad! What's happeninig in Sri lanks? Why are so many people on the streets protesting?
  • It's the anger of the people at the way the government handles the long economic crisis. 
  • But the economic mismangaement is the result of successive governments that created and suatained a twin deficit.
  • Yes. But it is in the past two years that foreign exchange reserves have fallen by 70% and were down to a paltry $2.31 billion as of February, leaving Sri Lanka struggling to import essentials, including food and fuel.
  • Parts of island nation faced prolonged power cuts for the past month as a deepening economic crisis roiled markets and buffeted businesses, with the government unable to pay for fuel shipments because of a foreign exchange shortage.
  • Oh so, reeling under its worst economic crisis, Sri Lanka on March 1 announced nationwide seven-and-a-half hour daily power cuts. country has been imposing sporadic power cuts amid its dwindling fuel supplies.
  • In addition to this, the current crisis was accelerated by deep tax cuts promised by Rajapaksa during a 2019 election campaign that were enacted months before the Covid-19 pandemic, which wiped out parts of Sri Lanka’s economy.
  • And with the country’s lucrative tourism industry and foreign workers’ remittances sapped by the pandemic, credit ratings agencies moved to downgrade Sri Lanka and effectively locked it out of international capital markets.
  •  Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared an Emergency on April 1 as thousands of people came out on the streets to protest the crippling power cuts and shortages of essential commodities caused by the country’s economic meltdown.
  • Ohh! So, all these lead to Rajpaksa declaring emergency in the country?
  • This is the second time within a year that Rajapaksa has resorted to this measure — he declared an Emergency on August 30 last year to deal with the hoarding of essential commodities when the economic crisis had begun to manifest itself in all its severity but lifted it within a few weeks.
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