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Cash-strapped Sri Lanka has imposed the third fuel price increase in two months as a campaign demanding that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa step down continued, officials said.
A sharp price increase in petrol and diesel was put into effect on Tuesday triggering off a chain reaction, including a rise in public transport fares.
Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekara said the price of octane 92 petrol has been increased by 82 rupees ($0.23) per litre bringing the price to 420 rupees, while diesel has been increased by 111 rupees per litre to 400 rupees.
The move came as the country was hit by an unprecedented economic crisis which has created fuel, gas and medicine shortages.
The government has sought assistance from India, China and Japan and international donor agencies to providing funding for purchases of medicines, fuel and gas.
A group of protesters have been carrying out a campaign outside the president’s office for 45 days demanding that Rajapaksa step down from office, the police said.
The president’s brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was the prime minister, stepped down from office on May 9, after a wave of violence sparked off by an attack on anti-government protesters by pro-government supporters.
Mobs attacked ruling party members’ houses and their supporters, burning at least 200 of their houses and destroying their vehicles and property.
Ranil Wickremesinghe, an opposition member and veteran politician who has previously held the position five times, has been named prime minister again.
He has launched an economic recovery programme but warned that public would face more hardships.
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