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Sri Lanka can't find cash to pay even one ship for petrol, says minister

Prime Minister has said the nation is working to obtain dollars in the open market to also pay for three ships with crude oil.

People wait in a queue to buy petrol at a fuel station, amid the country's economic crisis in Colombo (Photo: Reuters)
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People wait in a queue to buy petrol at a fuel station, amid the country's economic crisis in Colombo (Photo: Reuters)

Anusha Ondaatjie and Asantha Sirimanne | Bloomberg News
Sri Lanka asked citizens not to queue for gasoline as the nation on the verge of default has no dollars to pay for a fuel shipment. “There is a petrol ship in our waters,” Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera told parliament Wednesday. “We do not have the forex.”

Sri Lanka “hopes” to release the ship “today or tomorrow,” the minister said. The nation also owes the same supplier $53 million for an earlier shipment of gasoline, he added, without elaborating. 

The island nation is in the worst economic tailspin of its independent history. Shortages of everything from food to cooking gas have resulted

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First Published: May 18 2022 | 4:50 PM IST

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