Former Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera stresses that a fuel shortage is likely to occur very soon, with about USD 1.2 billion in fuel costs still due.
Speaking at the inaugural discussion of the “True Patriots” movement, he highlighted the need to move towards a true patriotic ideology based on liberal democracy.
“We are becoming a failed state isolated from the world. Before July 27, we must repay a billion dollars for a loan taken in 2011. In addition, around USD 1.3 billion in Sri Lankan Development Bonds will have to be paid in December this year,” he said.
“When I took over as finance minister in 2019, the foreign exchange reserves in the treasury, which stood at USD 7.6 billion, after July 27 will fall to a record low of USD 2.6 billion, the lowest level in the country’s history.”
Samaraweera stresses that the national income has declined by about LKR 600 billion, the lowest revenue recorded in the last seven decades was recorded in 2020. The largest budget deficit since 1988 was recorded in 2020.
Last year, the Sri Lanka Central Bank had to print the largest amount of money printed in a single year to cover the growing budget deficit. In addition, the amount of new loans obtained by the government for the year 2020 alone has increased by another LKR 2 Trillion.
“Because of this, there is a severe shortage of fertilizer in the country. Also, there is a serious shortage of imported medicines. With about USD 1.2 billion in fuel costs still due, a fuel shortage is likely to occur very soon. Through all this the hunger of the common people is increasing day by day,” he said.
“We must all acknowledge that our country has fallen into this state today because of decades of politics through the sale of so-called patriotism. In fact, everyone else involved in governance, including myself, is to some extent responsible for the current situation,”
“Every government has tried to build a palace called Sri Lanka on land without a foundation. That is why we have been building only palaces in the sky for 73 years. Therefore, let us now move towards a true patriotic ideology based on liberal democracy.”