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Sri Lanka government suspends fuel for health workers ahead of protest to oust President, PM

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ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka government has suspended fuel for health workers for two days, the health ministry secretary said on Thursday, ahead of a July 9 protest to force the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Health sector workers are given an exclusive fuel arrangement after a series of protests where the can pump fuel in designated state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation outlets on Fridays. The scheme started on June 24.

“Considering the prevailing situation and the current circumstances, it is advised to defer the above programme for 48 hours after which subsequent review, a new date will be notified in due course,” S. Janaka Sri Chandraguptha, the health secretary said in a statement.

The move comes after police’ request for a court order to prevent protests near president’s official residence in Colombo was rejected by a court.

Anti-government protesters, activists, monks, artists, and professionals have called all the people across the country to join the protest in Cololmbo near President’s residence. Thousands of social media users have shared memes, asking the fellow citizen to join the protest.

People are furious over, wha they say is lethargic attitude of the president and prime minister at least ensuring essentials like fuel, cooking gas, and kerosene. The length of queues for such import commodities have extended for many kilometers all over the country despite the government said there was no fuel until July 10.

Wickremesinghe was appointed as the prime minister on April 12 after President Rajapaksa’s elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned from the post following violent clashes which killed over 10 and injured over 300 on May 9. The clashes started after former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s supporters brutally attacked peaceful and unarmed anti-government protesters while police and military remained silent at the key protest sites in Colombo. (Colombo/July 07/2022)

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