By Ashoke Raj
As the countrywide protests continue over the severe economic crisis, former Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya has come forward to extend support to the people in the island nation, who are raising their voices against the Government.
In an exclusive conversation with ANI, Jayasuriya called the country’s situation “unfortunate” and said the people of this country are going through this for a few months now and it has come to a breaking point.
“The people can’t survive like this. This is why the people started to protest because there are fuel shortages, gas shortages, and electricity is not there for 10-12 hours sometimes. It has been really hard for the people of this country. That’s why people have started to come out and protest,” Jayasuriya told ANI.
The former cricketer cautioned if the situation is not addressed properly “It will be a disaster.” Jayasuriya said, he feels a lot of pain when his people protest against their Government.
“I would like to say protest peacefully, don’t resort to violence. It’s the protest by genuine people who come out and tell the Government that they are suffering,” he told ANI.
Sri Lankans, including Jayasuriya are holding the present Government responsible for the economic crisis.
“At the moment, the responsibility goes to the present Government. Sri Lankan people had a lot of faith and trust. Over the last three to four months, things have taken a turn for the worse. The people are blaming the present Government for all of this,” he told ANI.
Jayasuriya said, Sri Lankan people are having trouble in getting essential commodities for daily use. Answering a question about the ongoing struggles of people due to the economic crisis, he said, “We don’t want to see these things happening. There are 3-4 kilometres of vehicles queuing for diesel, gas and for milk powder. It’s really sad and people are hurt at the moment.”
“So, that is why the people have come out to fight for their rights. That’s why I said earlier if the situation is not addressed properly, there will be a disaster,” he said.
The Sri Lankan rupee is fast depreciating against the dollar and foreign debt is mounting. The Sri Lankan Government’s income has also taken a big hit due to a drop in tourism that has given rise to gas and fuel shortages, leading to massive power cuts.