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Sri Lanka’s economy contracts further as government battles to procure essential supplies

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe: Tough road ahead

The road ahead for Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is getting tougher and more uncertain as the country’s economy contracted 1.6 per cent in the March quarter. Sri Lanka has begun talks with the International Monetary Fund for a rescue package. But an economist told India Narrative that the financial assistance will not be enough to address the country’s current economic mess.

“It will give just a breather to Colombo but it is unlikely to resolve any deep-rooted problems,” a Sri Lankan entrepreneur who has relocated told India Narrative.

The country’s problems are no more limited to just shortage of food, fuel and medicine. “It is more deep rooted than we think and will take many years to fix and no government at this point will be able to deliver. The people of the country will have to brace for worse,” he said.

Wickremesinghe, last week, said that the economy has “completely collapsed.”

Another analyst said that the impact of the economic crisis will be felt for years if not decades as the country’s children miss out on critical years of learning and education.

The crisis has led to a large number of children opting out of schools.

"If steps had at least been taken to slow down the collapse of the economy at the beginning, we would not be facing this difficult situation today. But we lost out on this opportunity. We are now seeing signs of a possible fall into the very bottom. However, we must come out of this situation. If not, we will be unable to seek solutions to any other issue in the country," Wickremesinghe said.

Also read: Sri Lanka runs out of fuel, uncertainty over availability of fresh supplies hits citizens

India promises to stand by Sri Lanka at its gravest hour