Amid Sri Lanka's severe economic crisis, medical students marched to and occupied the health ministry in capital city Colombo on Thursday, 7 April, while doctors, nurses and health workers staged a protest against the sudden rise in prices of essential drugs and the unprecedented medicine supply shortage in the country, as per AFP.
Consequently, a health emergency was declared in the island nation.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka MP Patali Champika Ranawaka said on Thursday that the Rajapaksa family had left the country, as per ANI. He said,
"That's true. Rajapaksa's family members, spouses, children and others have left the country and they are enjoying their private jets, and yachts at the expense of our children's future. The new generation is very angry with these people."
Advisory Group To Address Debt Crisis
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday, 6 April, appointed a three-member advisory group to assist government officials engaging with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Among the responsibilities of the presidential advisory group are to take part in discussions with relevant Sri Lankan institutions and officials engaging with the IMF, and to provide guidance that will address the present debt crisis and lead to sustainable and inclusive recovery for Sri Lanka, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said in a statement.
The three-member advisory group includes:
Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy, former governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, and former director, Economic Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Prof Shanta Devarajan, Professor of the Practice of Development, Georgetown University, and former chief economist, World Bank.
Dr Sharmini Coorey, former director, Institute of Capacity Development of the IMF Institute, and former deputy director, Africa Department, IMF.
Diesel, the main fuel for buses and commercial vehicles, has been unavailable at stations across the island for over a week, crippling livelihoods and public transport.
Meanwhile, power cuts lasting over 13 hours were imposed – the longest since 1996, when a strike by the state employees caused a 72-hour-long blackout.
A consignment of 40,000 metric tonnes of diesel from India reached Sri Lanka on 2 April, the fourth such assistance from New Delhi, to mitigate the spike in power cuts.