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Disposing dead bodies in Sri Lanka becomes a challenge as gas shortage now hits crematoriums

Sri Lanka staring at a humanitarian crisis


Sri Lanka’s deepening economic crisis has not spared even the country’s dead. The island nation does not have enough gas even to run crematoriums. A local resident said that people who come to the crematorium to perform the last rites of the dead, often have to wait for long.

According to an AFP report, Sri Lanka will preserve a portion of its scarce fuel supplies for the cremation of Buddhists, whose funeral rites have been disrupted amid this crisis.

The economic crisis has led to an unprecedented shortage of fuel, food and medicines in the country. In fact the number of school dropouts is also increasing despite having a provision for universal free education.

Now in a bid to encourage citizens to grow their own food, Colombo has decided to give an extra day off to about one government officials and move to four day work structure.

“When you are struggling for food and other essential items such as fuel, sending children to school is beyond luxury,” a citizen based in Colombo told India Narrative.

“It is now about survival, it is about arranging for two square meals,” he said.

Meanwhile, India has decided to provide another credit line to cash starved Sri Lanka, which will support fuel purchase for four months beginning July.

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is currently battling the toughest battle of his political career. Colombo has already initiated talks with the International Monetary Fund  (IMF) for a bailout package. Barring India, no country has come forth in helping Sri Lanka during its gravest time, Wickremesinghe said sometime ago.

Though the World Bank provided a loan of $700 million to cash strapped Sri Lanka last month, Colombo needs to finalise the IMF bailout package as soon as possible.

Also read: For survival, Sri Lanka may need help before an IMF package is finalised

India to supply fertiliser to Sri Lanka to avert food shortage, says President Gotabaya