Due to the debt trap of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war, the Sri Lankan economy is going through a particularly difficult period. This has triggered many anti-government protests.

According to a Sky report on May 7, describing the exhaustion of Sri Lanka, the country’s former energy minister, Udaya Gammanpila, said that Sri Lanka could run out of fuel and food in the next month.

Gammanpila said, “Basically, Sri Lanka right now has no foreign currency reserves whatsoever.”

He added, “In the near future Sri Lanka will have to import vegetables, fruits, and grains such as rice and maize for consumption. But because of the foreign currency shortage, we are not in a position to do that right now. In the coming months, definitely, there will be a food shortage.”

The Hindu Stan News reported that the Center for Global Development in the year 2018 researched countries participating in China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

The study found that the 23 countries participating in the initiative were heavily indebted to Beijing. Sri Lanka is one of them. With widespread shortages and severe inflation, the people of this country are fleeing their country to find a livelihood abroad.

After falling into China’s debt trap, Sri Lanka had to give Hambantota port, its strategic importance port, to China on a 99-year lease.

As Liberty Times reported, on the morning of May 9, large-scale protests continued to break out in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital. Government supporters try to dismantle protesters’ tents outside the prime minister and the presidential office. The two sides clashed, and police used water cannons and tear gas to attack protesters. At least 78 people were reported injured and taken to hospital.

Under pressure from the public, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa asked his younger brother, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, to resign. However, the ruling Popular Front Party in Sri Lanka objected, saying that Sri Lanka could ask the IMF (International Monetary Fund) for emergency aid to solve the crisis.

But finally, Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to submit his resignation, and his spokesman has also confirmed this.

Sri Lankan media also revealed that Yoshitha Rajapaksa, the second son of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, left Sri Lanka in the early morning of May 9 with his wife.

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