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Sri Lanka’s economic collapse needs immediate attention: UN human rights experts

Sri Lanka economic crisis continues (Pic: Twitter)

A group of human rights experts affiliated with the United Nations have pressed the alarm button over Sri Lanka’s economic collapse with record high inflation, rising commodity prices, food and fuel shortages. Sri Lanka has now elected Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was serving as prime minister as its president, following the fleeing of Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

“Sri Lanka’s economic collapse needs immediate global attention, not just from humanitarian agencies, but from international financial institutions, private lenders and other countries who must come to the country’s aid,” a group of UN human rights experts have said in a statement.

Wickremesinghe, a close ally of the Rajapaksas is not a popular figure. Citizens launched massive protests against the government policies leading to the ouster of Gotabaya.

Wickremesinghe however warned that strict action will be taken against those resorting to violence through undemocratic means. On Friday, Sri Lankan security forces came down heavily on protestors. Many were beaten while the tents, which they built, have been destroyed.

Six-time prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said he will not bow to violence after winning a parliamentary vote to succeed Rajapaksa.

"If you try to topple the government, occupy the president's office and the prime minister's office, that is not democracy, it is against the law," Wickremesinghe said on Wednesday, a day before taking oath as president.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s central bank has warned that the bankrupt country’s economy could contract by more than 6 per cent this year amid intense political and social turmoil.

Also read: Resuming talks with IMF will be priority for Wickremesinghe, Sri Lanka's new President