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Sri Lankan troops open fire to contain unrest over fuel shortages

Troops fired in Visuvamadu, 365 kilometres (228 miles) north of Colombo, on Saturday night as their guard point was pelted with stones

sri lanka | Fuel Crisis


Roshan Mahanama
Former cricketer Roshan Mahanama said he was serving tea & buns to those waiting in queues at a petrol station in Colombo.

Sri Lanka's military opened fire to contain rioting at a fuel station, officials said on Sunday as unprecedented queues for petrol and diesel were seen across the bankrupt country.

Troops fired in Visuvamadu, 365 kilometres (228 miles) north of Colombo, on Saturday night as their guard point was pelted with stones, army spokesman Nilantha Premaratne said.

“A group of 20 to 30 people pelted stones and damaged an army truck,” Premaratne told AFP.

Police said four civilians and three soldiers were injured when the army opened fire for the first time to contain unrest linked to the worsening economic crisis.

As the pump ran out of petrol, motorists began to protest and the situation escalated into a clash with troops, police said.

is suffering its worst economic crisis since independence, with the country unable to find dollars to import essentials, including food, fuel and medicines.

The nation’s 22 million population has been enduring acute shortages and long queues for scarce supplies while President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has for months resisted calls to step down over mismanagement.

Sri Lanka's Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera on Saturday was jeered by a group of farmers who protested his visit to an agriculture-related programme in Tissamaharama, a town situated in the country’s southern province in Hambantota district, forcing him to flee the premises.

Lanka contacts Russian firm for crude oil

has reached out to several companies suggested by Russia’s embassy in Colombo to buy crude oil, Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said on Sunday, in an attempt by the debt-ridden island nation to get oil on credit to keep its only oil refinery running. Wijesekera told the media that the Russian ambassador in Colombo “asked me to send the replies of the company, and he will also intervene in the process”.

The minister said he had replies from the Russian companies suggested by the ambassador, Sri Lanka's Next news portal reported. “Also we have sent the message to the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Russia, Janitha Liyanage,” the minister said, adding that the process was taking time. has already bought one shipment of Siberian crude from Dubai-based Coral Energy in the market (PTI).

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First Published: Sun, June 19 2022. 22:30 IST