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Sri Lanka in talks with IMF over possible bailout as nationwide shutdown begins

Sri Lanka is experiencing its worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948 and the country began its two-week shutdown on Monday to preserve its already depleted fuel reserves. The country is experiencing fuel shortages, food shortages and record inflation. With the government in talks with the International Monetary Fund over a possible bailout, it has become important for the island nation to keep its existing reserves intact. As a result, the government has decided to close all public sector offices and also asked teachers in all public schools to deliver lessons online for at least the next two weeks.

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Over the past two weeks, Sri Lanka has seen a number of protests and clashes between motorists and police as fuel runs low. There were huge queues outside petrol stations as the government said it would ration fuel reserves for the time being.

According to AFP, schools in Sri Lanka were closed on Monday as few government offices operated with the bare minimum of staff. However, all hospitals and medical services were operating as usual and there was normal activity at the main seaport in the capital Colombo.

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The current situation in Sri Lanka makes talks with the IMF even more important after the country defaulted on its $51 billion external debt in April. Talks between the IMF and the government began on Monday and according to an AFP report, they will continue for another 10 days.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will also meet with Australian Home Secretary Clare O’Neil to ‘deepen cooperation and assist Sri Lanka as the country is going through very difficult economic times’, according to an official statement released. by the Australian government.

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Post expires at 11:56am on Thursday June 30th, 2022