Sri Lankan locals are desperately looking for someone to criticize for their current situation, and they have narrowed it down to Beijing and its debt diplomacy. The situation has deteriorated to the point that Sri Lanka is turning off street lights as the energy crisis worsens.
Sri Lanka is in the midst of an economic crisis that is wreaking havoc on the country’s economy, as a devastating energy crisis threatens to turn into food and other vital goods shortages.
Sri Lanka is starting to turn off its street lights to conserve power due to an energy crisis (and China’s refusal to permit the nation to restructure its debts) as its worst economic crisis in decades bites, forcing – among other cuts – the temporary shutdown of the local stock market as the crisis’ influence is felt (the Colombo Stock Exchange reduced daily trading to two hours from the usual four-and-a-half because of the power cuts for the rest of this week at the request of brokers).
Since the government is incapable to fulfill payments for fuel imports due to a lack of foreign exchange, the island country of 22 million people is experiencing continuous power outages lasting up to 13 hours per day.
According to Reuters, a diesel supply arranged for with a $500 million credit line from neighboring India is anticipated to come on Saturday, but the situation is not anticipated to change any time soon, as power restrictions will need to be maintained, per the country’s power minister.
Another cause of the power outage (and a warning for all countries attempting to increase ‘green’ power sources): During the hot, dry season, water levels in reservoirs supplying hydro-electric plants had dropped to historic lows, but demand had also reached unprecedented heights, she stated.
According to Reuters, Sri Lanka’s problem is the outcome of a slew of events that have depleted the country’s foreign currency reserves.
And unless things improve quickly, the little country’s energy problem might turn into a food shortage. Because, according to the AFP, the country’s fisherman have been frustrated on shore due to a lack of gasoline, being unable haul in the day’s catch. Families all throughout the country are feeling the consequences.
Locals are looking for someone to criticize, and they have narrowed it down to Beijing and its ‘debt diplomacy,’ which appears to have taken Colombo off guard.