A 30-day grace period ended on Wednesday for Sri Lanka to make its coupon payments on two of its sovereign bonds. The country is expected to be placed into default by rating agencies.
The energy minister said the country had run out of money to pay for fuel.
Motorists, auto-rickshaw drivers and regular citizens waited in long lines in Colombo to buy fuel and kerosene for cooking on Wednesday, as 22 million people endure hardships amid record inflation, lengthy power blackouts and food insecurity.
Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera appealed to people to stop queuing for the next two days, telling parliament that Sri Lanka currently has no dollars to pay for petrol shipments.
By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka
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