US and European diplomats Saturday urged Sri Lanka’s beleaguered president to repeal a state of emergency imposed after a general strike brought the bankrupt country to a halt.

Months of blackouts and acute shortages of food, fuel and medicines have caused widespread suffering across the South Asian island nation, which is enduring its worst-ever economic downturn.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared a fresh state of emergency on Friday after weeks of protests demanding his government step down over its mismanagement of the crisis.

US ambassador Julie Chung said she was “concerned” by the second state of emergency in as many months, adding that Sri Lanka’s deepening economic crisis and political gridlock…


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