The Desperate Life of Sri Lankan People Waiting in line to fill up gas for up to 12 hours – Post Today Around the World

The Desperate Life of Sri Lankan People Waiting in line to fill up gas for up to 12 hours

Date 31 May 2022 time 14:00

Echoes from Sri Lankans who have to wait in line to fill up gas for over 12 hours. Sometimes it’s up to the queue but the gas runs out first.

Reuters has echoed Lasanda Thipti, a 43-year-old Sri Lankan tuk-tuk driver in the suburbs of Colombo, whose daily plans depend on waiting in line to fill up on fuel.

Before accepting customers, she had to look down at the gas gauge to make sure there was enough. And when it was almost gone, she had to line up outside the gas station with the other Sri Lankans. sometimes you have to wait all night And when it comes to the queue, it has to be found that the price of oil is 2.5 times higher than the price 8 months ago.

Dipti is one of millions of Sri Lankans struggling with rapidly rising inflation. reduced income and every scarcity from oils to medicines The country is facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948.

Women driving tuk-tuks are rarely seen in Sri Lanka. But it’s been a job that Dipti has been doing for seven years to feed a family of five — her mother, three brothers and herself — by using Sri Lanka’s PickMe, a ride-hailing app.

Since the financial crisis She struggles with getting enough oil and income. This was due to fewer people using tuk-tuks and inflation soaring past 30% compared to the same period last year.

Her monthly income of 50,000 Sri Lankan rupees, or $138, has been declining since January and is now down to less than half of her earnings.

Thipti revealed, “I spend more time refueling than doing anything else. Sometimes I queue up at 3 p.m. until I can fill up 12 hours later. A few times I got to the front of the line but I ran out of gas.”

Thipti revealed that in the middle of the month she had to queue for two and a half days to refuel. “I don’t know what words to use to describe how bad it is. Sometimes I feel insecure at night but there is nothing else to do.”

The woman’s morning routine was changing clothes. Fill the bottle with water, wipe the car, and light incense to make a wish before getting into the car. Her mission is to find oil, which has seen prices rise 259% since October last year, after the government cut subsidies to try to stabilize a shaky economy.

The root cause of Sri Lanka’s latest crisis is The Covid-19 epidemic, which has destroyed the tourism industry and reduced remittances for Sri Lankans abroad. including tax reductions in accordance with the populist policy of the Government of Kota Baya Rajapaksa

with fury over the widespread shortage and accused the powerful Rajapaksa family of mismanaging the economy. This has led thousands of protesters to gather in streets across the country in recent months to organize protests, most of them peacefully.

Ranil Wikramasingha, the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Treasury, who was appointed finance minister last week, plans to announce a six-week budget that will cut costs dramatically and move the money into a two-year welfare program. year instead

The new prime minister’s policies also include pushing forward talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to get the loan Sri Lanka is desperately looking for at this time.

But Thipti didn’t believe it any more.

The car she had saved had to be sold last year. because the owner does not have money to pay the installment Another tuk-tuk that her brother drove mostly had to be repaired. But the family hardly had the money to pay for the repairs. And Thipti still owes more than 100,000 Sri Lanka rupees for the land she bought before the Covid-19 outbreak.

Thipti also wants to visit her three-month-old granddaughter but is unsure how to get to the town of Matara where her nurse daughter lives, some 170 kilometers away.

“I hardly have enough rice and vegetables for my family. I can’t buy the pills my mom needs. How will we be together next month? I don’t know what our future holds.”

REUTERS/Adnan Abidi