Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa says he does not want to leave yet, despite mass protests against him. Rajapaska wants to complete his term. This means that he will leave in two years. “After that, I will not run for office again,” he told the Bloomberg news agency. earlier left his older brother, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Violent protests have been going on in Sri Lanka for months. Anti-government protesters accuse Rajapaksa and his family of making choices that have left the country with shortages of almost everything from fuel to medicine.
Inflation in the country is 40% and as a result there is a historically large budget deficit. The country’s economy is on her assalso because tourists stay away for fear of the financial situation and protests.
The president stuck in an official residence
Thousands of protesters have camped around the president’s official residence since March. They want him gone. The president cannot go out and is more or less locked in his official residence, because the road leading to it is barricaded.
Sri Lanka is in talks with the International Monetary Fund over a $4 billion emergency loan. Experts see this as the only way out of the crisis. Since the IMF is almost certainly calling for tax reforms, the government has increased the VAT from 8% to 12%.
Many Sri Lankans struggle to make ends meet, like Roshan and his family:
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