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Sri Lanka announces two-week shutdown as fuel crisis worsens

The Sri Lankan government has announced a two-week shutdown, encouraging all public sector employees to work from home, as a fuel shortage amidst the island’s economic crisis has brought many forms of transport to a grinding halt.

A circular from the Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry announced directive for all but the most essential workers.

“Taking into consideration the severe limits on fuel supply, the weak public transport system, and the difficulty in using private vehicles, this circular allows minimal staff to report to work from Monday,” the ministry said.

Schools across the island are awaiting news from the education ministry with reports that a similar decision is set to be taken soon.

The shutdown comes as Sri Lanka’s energy minister admitted the country only has enough fuel stocks to last five more days. "We are struggling to get fuel supplies due to our forex issues and the government is working to manage existing stocks of diesel and petrol until 21 June," Kanchana Wijesekera told reporters.

"We are finding it very difficult to meet demand and stocks could run out faster if we do not cut back on non-essential travel and stop hoarding fuel."

Read more from Reuters here and Al Jazeera here.


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