Colombo (Sri Lanka): As the countrywide protests continue over the severe economic crisis, former Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya has come forward to extend support to the people in the island nation, who are raising their voices against the government.
In an exclusive conversation with ANI, Jayasuriya has called the country's situation "unfortunate" and said the people of this country are going through this for a few months now and it has come to a breakpoint.
"The people can't survive like this. This is why the people started to protest because there are fuel shortages, gas shortages, and electricity is not there for 10-12 hours sometimes. It is been really hard for the people of this country. That's why people have started to come out and protest," Jayasuriya told ANI.
The former cricketer cautioned if the situation is not addressed properly "it will be a disaster." Jayasuriya said that he feels a lot of pain when his own people protest against their own government.
"I would like to say do protest peacefully, don't do violently. It's the protest by genuine people who come out and tell the government that they are suffering," he told ANI.
People in the island nation including Sanath Jayasuriya are holding the present government responsible for the economic crisis.
"At the moment, the responsibility goes to the present government. Sri Lankan people had a lot of faith and trust. From last, three to four months have been not the best time for what is the present government has done. Unfortunately, all of this the people are blaming the present government," he told ANI.
Jayasuriya, who himself has witnessed the worsening situation in the country, said Sri Lankan people are facing trouble in getting essential commodities for daily use.
Answering a question about the ongoing struggles of people due to the economic crisis, he said, "We don't want to see these things happening. There are 3-4 kilometres of vehicles queueing for diesel, gas and for milk powder. ...It's really sad and people are hurt at the moment." "So that is why did the people have come out for their rights.... That's why I said earlier if the situation is not addressing it properly, there will be a disaster," he said.
The Sri Lankan rupee is fast depreciating against the dollar and foreign debt is mounting. The Sri Lankan government's income has also taken a big hit due to a drop in tourism that has given rise to gas and fuel shortages, leading to massive power cuts.