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Colombo [Sri Lanka], May 17 (ANI): As Sri Lanka continues to face a dearth of fuel across the country, the island nation is looking toward India for assistance in the face of the unprecedented economic crisis.

Sri Lanka is currently struggling with acute food and electricity shortages and the recession is attributed to foreign exchange shortages caused by a clampdown on tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic. The country is unable to buy sufficient fuel and gas, while the people are being deprived of basic amenities as well.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in an address to the nation on Monday gave an account of the grave economic situation facing the island nation and said that the people need to be prepared to make sacrifices.

"The next couple of months will be the most difficult ones of our lives. We must prepare ourselves to make some sacrifices and face the challenges of this period," he said.

In a response to the Sri Lankan prime minister's announcement for 'No Fuel', Chairman of Sita Amman Temple in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka, V Radhakrishnan said, "Our Prime Minister told the truth. However, he should also work on future plans to pull out Sri Lanka from the grave economic crisis that the country is currently facing."Radhakrishnan who is also a Member of Parliament in Sri Lanka, praised India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the humanitarian efforts towards the crisis-stricken country and called India "the most neighbour.""India sent petrol, drugs, food items, everything. We are thankful to Modi ....Without India, we could have not survived at this time," he added, in conversation with ANI.

On May 4, India supplied nearly 40,000 MT of petrol to Sri Lanka to help ease the fuel shortage in the country, which is reeling under a severe economic and energy crisis. Howbeit, due to plummeting economy, the fuel crisis in Sri Lanka is only exacerbating as people are waiting for petrol with their vehicles and big bottles to stock for their daily use.

Talking to ANI, Shakib, a Sri Lankan local who works for a pick-up service expressed his plight and said, "I've been standing at the petrol pump since 5 a.m, waiting for fuel. It has become very difficult to survive in Sri Lanka with no source of employment and fuel."Faced with economic hardship, Colombo-based taxi and auto drivers are now forced to sell the national flag at the protest site Galle Face for their livelihood.Sri Lanka is facing a large-scale economic crisis, a level of economic emergency of unprecedented nature, with nationwide anti-government protests.

Former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped down on Monday, following violent incidents reported between pro-government groups and anti-government protesters. (ANI)

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