Fuel shortages and empty supermarket cabinets: Singaporean in Sri Lanka describes experience under curfew

COLOMBO: Things have modified drastically since Mr Ramdzan Salim arrived in Sri Lanka’s business capital in March on a piece task.

With his resort window overlooking the Old Parliament Building, which homes the presidential workplace, the Singaporean venture coordinator has had a front-row seat to the political and financial disaster that has taken over Sri Lanka.

Over the previous few weeks, the sector close to the constructing has been the scene of a rising protest camp. Dozens of tents have been erected on the website, as demonstrators categorical their anger on the authorities’s mishandling of Sri Lanka’s worst monetary disaster in a long time.

“From a peaceful green field, it’s become a crowded, makeshift village set up by peaceful protesters,” stated Mr Ramdzan throughout a cellphone interview with CNA on Thursday (May 12).

“The protests have actually been very peaceful in fact, the (protesters) also made it as a platform to showcase some local artists as well as a platform to voice their dissatisfaction with their government,” he stated.

But issues took a dramatic activate Monday when authorities supporters armed with sticks and golf equipment attacked the protesters in Colombo, injuring dozens.

Following the conflict, Sri Lankan authorities deployed 1000’s of troops and police to implement a curfew.

According to Mr Ramdzan, round 120 to 150 protesters nonetheless present up daily.


When CNA spoke to him, the 50-year-old was dashing to purchase necessities earlier than the beginning of the curfew, which was as a result of be lifted on Wednesday morning however has been prolonged. People is not going to be allowed out from 2pm on Thursday till 6am (8.30am Singapore time) on Friday.

“We have been on a two-day curfew already so far so you can imagine that people are running out of essentials and stuff,” Mr Ramdzan stated.

“Certain things like fresh vegetables are totally empty on the shelves at the supermarket and there’s been a shortage of milk for the past two months,” he stated, including that he has been stocking up on canned items and different non-perishable meals.

The scenario has additionally disrupted his work.

“We couldn’t travel out from the hotel at all the whole of yesterday because of the curfews and the roadblocks,” he stated.

“For this week, there also won’t be any supply of diesel until Sunday which means we have to limit our travel because that’s what our vehicles run on,” he stated, including that the scarcity has elevated the common ready time at petrol kiosks to 3 hours.

On Thursday, Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) suggested Singaporeans to defer all non-essential journey to Sri Lanka.

MFA additionally urged Singaporeans in Sri Lanka to train vigilance and take all needed precautions for his or her private security.

Mr Ramdzan is making preparations to fly again to Singapore in 10 days’ time when his deployment ends.

“I still hear that there are unrests and arson (attacks) in other parts of Sri Lanka but in Colombo, in general, it’s quite subdued now after the violence escalated on Monday, so I’m not too worried,” he stated.

“So far, there are no restrictions on travelling to and from the airport but tourists and business travellers will need to show their airline tickets and passports in order to pass the roadblocks.”

Fuel shortages and empty supermarket shelves: Singaporean in Sri Lanka describes experience under curfew

Vanessa Lim

Source : channelnewsasia.com

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