Sri Lanka’s schools and government offices will be closed as traffic stops

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan authorities announced a two-week closure of government offices and schools on Friday, as public transport has almost completely stopped due to a lack of dollars to pay for imported fuel.
IN Ministry of Public Administration ordered all departments, public institutions and local councils to maintain skeletal services from Monday in response to the acute shortage of petrol and diesel.
“Due to the scarce public transport, as well as the impossibility of organizing personal vehicles, it was decided to drastically reduce the number of employees who come to work,” the ministry said in a statement.
Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948 and has been unable to finance imports of basic necessities such as food, medicine and fuel since late last year.
The country is also facing record high inflation and prolonged power outages, all of which have contributed to months of protests – sometimes violent – calling on the president. Ready Rajapaksa to withdraw.
Earlier this week, authorities declared Friday a holiday, also in an attempt to save fuel.
Despite the move, long queues were seen in front of the pumping stations on Friday, with many drivers saying they had waited days to fill their tanks.
The education ministry said all schools had been asked to remain closed for two weeks Monday and provide online training if students and teachers had access to electricity.
The expulsion order came the day after The united nations launched its emergency response to the island’s unprecedented economic crisis by feeding thousands of pregnant women facing food shortages.
Four out of five people in Sri Lanka have started missing meals because they cannot afford to eat, the UN said, warning of an impending “terrible humanitarian crisis” with millions in need.
IN World Food Program (WFP) said it had started distributing food vouchers to about 2,000 pregnant women in “unserved” areas of Colombo as part of “life-saving” on Thursday.
WFP is trying to raise $ 60 million for food support efforts between June and December.
Sri Lanka has failed to repay its $ 51 billion foreign debt in April and is in talks with International Monetary Fund for rescue assistance.

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