Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

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Sri Lanka is suffering from the worst economic crisis in decades. (File)

Colombo:

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will complete the remaining two years of his term but will not seek re-election despite months of street protests calling for his ouster, he told Bloomberg.

Sri Lanka is suffering from the worst economic crisis in decades.

“I was given a mandate for five years. I will not compete again,” Rajapaksa said in an interview at his Colombo headquarters on Monday.

Anti-government protesters blame Rajapaksa and his family for decisions that led to severe shortages of everything from fuel to medicines, fueled 40 percent inflation and forced a historic default.

Thousands of protesters have camped outside the president’s seafront office since mid-March, forcing him to withdraw to his barricaded official residence about a kilometer away.

The economic downturn led to political turmoil with the resignation of the president’s old brother – Mahinda Rajapaksa – as the nation’s prime minister after bloody clashes between government supporters and protesters in May.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his new prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, are now demanding around $4 billion in aid this year from the International Monetary Fund and countries like India and China.

The Sri Lankan rupee has lost about 82 percent over the past year and the central bank on Monday hinted at the possibility of another correction. The nation’s debt is trading in deeply troubled territory.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published by a syndicated feed.)

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