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Sri lanka News – Over 300 boat people from Sri Lanka who were fleeing a currency crisis in the country have been brought ashore to Vietnam by rescue authorities after overcoming initial resistance, reports said.

Around 200 men along with women with young children were rescued in the waters around the Spratly islands by a Japanese ship, after a fishing boat they were travelling from Myanmar got into trouble. The migrants were reportedly attempting to reach Canada.

Vietnam’s TouTre newspaper quoted a Sri Lankan migrant as saying that the boat drifted for over 40 hours and was taking in water when, Japanese car carrier Helios Leader reached them.

Vietnam maritime officials alerted by Sri Lanka authorities who had received a message from the ship, had alerted all shipping in the area to keep a lookout for the distressed migrant boat.

Vietnam officials accompanied by Sri Lanka’s honorary consul boarded the Japanese ship on November 08, but the migrants had refused to leave the ship.

They finally agreed leave around 5.30 in the evening but it was getting dark and seas were getting choppy, the reports said.

Some of the new migrants along with their luggage was brought ashore November 08 and the last batch arrived in the morning of November 09, the newspaper said.

They were being cared for at three locations by authorities by the Ba Ria – Vung Tau provincial government, the report said.

Some volunteers had also brought milk for the children and other materials.

Sri Lanka’s rupee collapsed from 200 to 360 to the US dollar in 2022 in the worst currency crises in the history of the island’s central bank after macro-economists printed money for two years to keep rates down after cutting taxes to target an output gap (stimulus).

Sri Lanka’s macro-economists have depreciated the currency from 4.70 to the 360 since money printing powers were given to them in 1950 abolishing a currency board.

Politicians of the country then brought laws to restrict the economic freedoms of the public with import controls and exchange controls instead of changing the monetary law to curb macro-economists from mi-targeting of rates with liquidity injections for stimulus and enable free trade and the free flow of capital. (Colombo/Nov09/2022)

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