Zürcher Nachrichten - Sri Lanka parliament speaker warns crisis risks starvation

EUR -
AED 4.000922
AFN 77.160606
ALL 100.490321
AMD 423.173682
ANG 1.963488
AOA 953.663079
ARS 1001.088177
AUD 1.607457
AWG 1.962333
AZN 1.854762
BAM 1.956576
BBD 2.199683
BDT 128.010776
BGN 1.950666
BHD 0.410663
BIF 3136.558534
BMD 1.089277
BND 1.462887
BOB 7.527951
BRL 5.90917
BSD 1.089437
BTN 90.998548
BWP 14.672887
BYN 3.564763
BYR 21349.830549
BZD 2.195981
CAD 1.486988
CDF 3123.499047
CHF 0.975796
CLF 0.036103
CLP 996.189718
CNY 7.89769
CNH 7.923864
COP 4317.513054
CRC 569.428481
CUC 1.089277
CUP 28.865842
CVE 110.310274
CZK 25.330374
DJF 193.977833
DKK 7.461603
DOP 64.395839
DZD 146.722198
EGP 52.382351
ERN 16.339156
ETB 62.939254
FJD 2.419066
FKP 0.839354
GBP 0.839707
GEL 2.973392
GGP 0.839354
GHS 16.777886
GIP 0.839354
GMD 73.798932
GNF 9378.763198
GTQ 8.458472
GYD 227.829324
HKD 8.504969
HNL 26.983827
HRK 7.524672
HTG 143.997779
HUF 392.314398
IDR 17607.564715
ILS 3.941224
IMP 0.839354
INR 90.977398
IQD 1427.185756
IRR 45844.945383
ISK 149.318034
JEP 0.839354
JMD 170.808536
JOD 0.771971
JPY 172.072838
KES 138.904395
KGS 92.912524
KHR 4472.794694
KMF 493.769177
KPW 980.349743
KRW 1506.122059
KWD 0.333079
KYD 0.907873
KZT 516.68206
LAK 24122.900692
LBP 97560.041284
LKR 329.585271
LRD 212.445243
LSL 19.598744
LTL 3.216352
LVL 0.658893
LYD 5.28412
MAD 10.692292
MDL 19.250901
MGA 4871.954856
MKD 61.549414
MMK 3537.929429
MNT 3758.006264
MOP 8.761296
MRU 43.131108
MUR 50.847279
MVR 16.829315
MWK 1889.057978
MXN 19.275792
MYR 5.091269
MZN 69.604795
NAD 19.598744
NGN 1762.068862
NIO 40.106092
NOK 11.703394
NPR 145.59642
NZD 1.786784
OMR 0.420199
PAB 1.089427
PEN 4.096825
PGK 4.26271
PHP 63.724345
PKR 303.299298
PLN 4.254536
PYG 8214.295959
QAR 3.97253
RON 4.964381
RSD 117.078652
RUB 95.452372
RWF 1427.272688
SAR 4.08566
SBD 9.192866
SCR 15.199769
SDG 654.655655
SEK 11.491813
SGD 1.461705
SHP 0.839354
SLE 24.887043
SLL 22841.599486
SOS 622.649836
SRD 32.248032
STD 22545.836083
SVC 9.532913
SYP 2736.841716
SZL 19.607868
THB 39.431198
TJS 11.602555
TMT 3.81247
TND 3.378387
TOP 2.566827
TRY 36.086796
TTD 7.395035
TWD 35.498405
TZS 2892.031058
UAH 44.688731
UGX 4030.580255
USD 1.089277
UYU 43.667521
UZS 13786.468492
VEF 3945963.406368
VES 39.735359
VND 27683.976704
VUV 129.321193
WST 3.053906
XAF 656.220306
XAG 0.035313
XAU 0.000452
XCD 2.943825
XDR 0.825131
XOF 656.220306
XPF 119.331742
YER 272.67333
ZAR 19.598197
ZMK 9804.803079
ZMW 27.86218
ZWL 350.746772
  • RBGPF

    0.0000

    56.9

    0%

  • RELX

    0.6900

    46.39

    +1.49%

  • AZN

    1.2800

    79.22

    +1.62%

  • CMSC

    0.0100

    24.43

    +0.04%

  • RYCEF

    -0.0400

    5.83

    -0.69%

  • GSK

    0.2600

    39.16

    +0.66%

  • RIO

    0.4400

    68.52

    +0.64%

  • BTI

    0.3800

    32.61

    +1.17%

  • BP

    0.1400

    35.19

    +0.4%

  • SCS

    0.1800

    13.48

    +1.34%

  • BCC

    1.7800

    125.12

    +1.42%

  • NGG

    -0.7000

    62.15

    -1.13%

  • BCE

    0.2000

    32.47

    +0.62%

  • VOD

    -0.0500

    9.14

    -0.55%

  • CMSD

    0.0400

    24.67

    +0.16%

  • JRI

    0.0400

    12.46

    +0.32%

Sri Lanka parliament speaker warns crisis risks starvation
Sri Lanka parliament speaker warns crisis risks starvation

Sri Lanka parliament speaker warns crisis risks starvation

Sri Lanka's crippling economic crisis risks starvation across the island nation of 22 million while acute shortages and blackouts will get worse, the speaker of parliament warned Wednesday.

Text size:

Scarce supplies of food and fuel, along with record inflation and blackouts, have inflicted widespread misery in the country's most painful downturn since independence from Britain in 1948.

Public anger is at a fever pitch, with crowds attempting to storm the homes of several government figures -- including President Gotabaya Rajapaksa -- and large demonstrations elsewhere.

Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana told legislators that more hardships were to come.

"We are told this is the worst crisis, but I think this is just the beginning," Abeywardana said at the start of a two-day debate on the worsening economic woes.

"The food, gas and electricity shortages will get worse. There will be very acute food shortages and starvation."

Security forces have dispersed protests with tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets, but a state of emergency imposed by the president last week to quell demonstrations was lifted at midnight.

More than 60 people had been arrested in connection with unrest and many have said they were tortured in police custody.

Legislators had pushed for a debate on the emergency decree during this week's session of parliament, where the government has lost its majority after the desertion of political allies -- several of whom have since called for Rajapaksa's resignation.

Opposition parties had already rejected the president's overture to form a unity administration after the resignation of nearly the entire cabinet late on Sunday.

But there has so far been no clear signal that opposition legislators will attempt a no-confidence motion to topple the Rajapaksa administration.

- Prior warnings -

A critical foreign currency shortage has left Sri Lanka struggling to import essential goods, with the pandemic torpedoing vital revenue from tourism and remittances.

Rating agencies have warned of a potential default on Sri Lanka's $51 billion foreign debt, and authorities are unable to raise more commercial loans because of credit downgrades.

Economists say the crisis has been exacerbated by government mismanagement, years of accumulated borrowing and ill-advised tax cuts.

Agriculture ministry secretary Udith Jayasinghe warned in December that the country could face a famine due to the government's decision to ban agrochemical imports last year.

The decision, taken in an apparent effort to shore up foreign currency reserves, saw farmers leave their fields barren instead of toiling over crops without the aid of fertiliser and pesticides.

Jayasinghe was sacked within hours of issuing his warning.

Sri Lanka has said it will seek an IMF bailout to overcome the crisis but negotiations are yet to begin, and the country's latest finance minister resigned Tuesday after just one day in office.

O.Hofer--NZN