Diesel no longer for sale across Sri Lanka, massive blackout

Sri Lanka, photo by Wikipedia.

Diesel was unavailable for sale at stations across Sri Lanka today. Petrol is on sale but in short supply, forcing drivers to abandon their cars in long queues. Private business owners say they have already run out of fuel, and even skeleton services may not be possible after Friday.

Now, the country is grappling with a 13-hour power blackout, its longest ever recorded. The state electricity monopoly said it would be forced to enforce a 13-hour power cut from today because they did not have diesel for generators. Many state-run hospitals have stopped surgeries because they have run out of life-saving medicines. This is on top of a shortage of essential goods, and high price spikes, caused by a broad import ban imposed in 2020 due to Sri Lanka’s debt.

One electricity board chairman told AFP hydro reservoirs, which provide more than a third of electricity, were also dangerously low.

The outage has prompted enraged protests across Sri Lanka, as hundreds of drivers block main roads in several towns. The chairman of the private bus operators association told AFP busses won’t be able to run if they don’t get supplies by this evening.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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