ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will address the nation on Wednesday (16), his media unit said, as the island nation has been witnessing sharp rise in prices in all essential goods and services following the rupee fall amid public protests.

The content of the speech is expected to be the prevailing situation in the country.

Since the central bank allowed flexibility in the exchange rate on March 8, the rupee has fallen nearly 32 percent so far.

With the rupee fall, prices of fuel, wheat flour, transport, rice parcel, container transport, air tickets, and many other essential goods have been raised and people have started grumbling about the latest cost of living.

The president’s speech also comes as opposition parties have called people to join them for protests against the government’s economic mismanagement and policy failures.

The opposition protests blame Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Podujana Party (SLPP)-led government for a messed up fertilizer policy and mismanagement of economic policies.

The main opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya has planned a protest in Colombo on Tuesday.

The country has seen shortage of fuel, cooking gas, milk powder, sugar, and wheat flour in the recent past mainly due to severe shortage of US dollars as the island nation’s reserves dwindled over 70 percent in the first 11 month of 2021.

The fuel shortage has resulted in extended power cuts across the country. (Colombo/March14/2022)