Missing Sri Lanka president orders gas distribution; shortage hits ambulance services

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has ordered officials to ensure the distribution of cooking gas in the island nation.

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa (File image)

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, whose whereabouts is still unknown since the protesters stormed his official residence, has ordered officials to ensure the distribution of cooking gas after the fuel-starved country received 3,700 metric tonnes of LP gas, his office said on Sunday.

President Rajapaksa had instructed the officers to carry out the unloading and distribution of gas as the first ship arrived at Kerawalapitiya this afternoon.

A second ship carrying 3,740 metric tonnes of gas is due on July 11 and a third carrying 3,200 metric tonnes of gas will arrive on July 15, according to the Sri Lankan media.

Ambulance suspended:

In a new low in the continuously deteriorating situation in Sri Lanka, ambulance service have been temporarily suspended in 83 areas of the island nation due to fuel shortages.

“1990 Suwa Seriya ambulance service will not be available due to the shortage of fuel. We kindly urge the public to refrain from calling 1990 requesting for the service,” read a notice issued to the public from 1990 Ambulance service, according to Newswire.

What is happening in Sri Lanka?

Moments before protesters stormed his official residence, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled from the scene. Protesters shouted, “Gota go home” and demanded his resignation. Protesters also set fire to prime minister Ranil Wickremesingh’s private residence.

Gotabaya will resign from the presidency on July 13 while Ranil Wickremesingh stepped down as Sri Lanka’s prime minister on Saturday, July 10.

Meanwhile, protesters continue to occupy the president and prime minister’s official residences.

Sri Lanka is going through one of the worst economic crises that the country has witnessed. Sri Lanka’s total foreign debt stands at USD 51 billion.

(With inputs from PTI)

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