Ranil Wickremesinghe’s first budget as president had to meet conditions laid out by international body, but many believe he is not doing nearly enough to deal with economic crisis still affecting millions.
Last month, year-on-year food inflation hit 95 per cent, meaning millions of families have had to forgo basics.
Experts say there are many challenges ahead as prices continue to rise, with millions already in dire straits and warnings of a humanitarian crisis.
Many transpeople can no longer afford rent and drugs for hormone therapy and struggle to find employment in a country mired in crisis.
The new president has to work quickly to restore stability and seal a rescue deal with the IMF as the country runs out of cash and demonstrations continue.
Amid the economic crisis, with food, fuel and medicine shortages, the president and prime minister have both said they’ll resign; protesters are refusing to leave government buildings until the men have formally gone.
The country’s fuel crisis is taking a toll on schools, hospitals and critical export industries such as the seafood sector.
The Easter Sunday bombings and the pandemic lashed the sector from 2019-2021. Now, unrest arising from economic duress has further hurt tourism.
The cost of living has shot up amid the economic crisis – driving some women to turn to unhygienic practices and forcing schoolgirls to stay at home because they cannot afford menstrual products.
The clan that has dominated politics for some two decades has fallen from grace, with Mahinda replaced as PM and his president brother facing calls to resign.
Hydropower can typically meet about 40 per cent of the island nation’s electricity needs, but a dry spell has caused this to drop to about 20 per cent.
Who lives, who dies? That’s the hideous triage question medical professionals are now facing as essential medicines begin to run out.
Restaurants and other eateries already hit hard by the pandemic and a months-long cooking-gas shortage are now being pushed to the brink by power outages lasting up to 13 hours a day.