Location: Colombo – Sri Lanka
Restrictions: A24 Subscribers
As the Ukraine crisis deepens and the international supply chain situation worsens, and as a result of the disruption of supply chains and the world increase in the prices of gas, bakeries have been struggling to continue operating and providing their essential services to the overall population. Sri Lanka is going through a crippling financial crisis with a whopping 70 percent decrease in foreign exchange at $2.3 billion in January. The government is struggling to meet its obligations of providing staples to its population, not the least of which is fuel. The Bakery Owners’ Association says that more than a thousand bakeries had to be closed down due to the gas shortage. The cooking gas shortage has almost doubled bread prices in some urban areas. Kumara Nanayakkara, a unionist, said people would have to stand in long queues to purchase staples, casting doubt on the government and their action to mitigate the crisis. Bakery owners have expressed their dismay at their work conditions, adding that their stock of gas cylinders is not sufficient, adding that it costs an arm and a leg to get a hold of cooking gas. Some have been forced to close their bakeries, as staff and workers complained that they do not have enough money to go back home.
(Soundbite)Kumara nanayakkara – a unionist
“At present, there’s no fuel for vehicles. No LP gas. No milk powder. No electricity at night. People must be in queues to buy goods in the daytime. Is this the result of people’s votes? Even though the authorities say that they won’t cut electricity, they will do it again shortly.”
(Soundbite) Sameera Withanage, a bakery owner:
“We’re facing many inconveniences due to the gas shortage. We are in a situation where we can’t run our small businesses. I opened this bakery after a few days. I bought a gas cylinder with great difficulty by waiting in the queue yesterday. But it’s only enough for today. “
(Soundbite) Dilshan Kuruppu, a bakery staff:
“We’re doing our business under many difficulties. There’s no gas in the market. If they are available, we’ll have to buy them for a huge amount of money. We had no gas for about a week now.”
(Soundbite)Kumara Nanayakkara, a unionist:
“If this government can’t manage the economy well, the authorities must have resigned. That’s the best thing they can do for the country. At present, these people are doing damage to our country. We call on for the release of the people from this misery.”
(Soundbite) Niyas Ameen, a bakery staff:
“We lost our job. Our bakery is closed for a week. The reason for this is lack of gas. We don’t even have money to return home.”
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