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'Heartbreaking to see what my countrymen are going through'

Heartbreaking to see what my countrymen are going through
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Mumbai: Actor Jacqueline Fernandez on Monday said Sri Lankan citizens need "empathy and support" amid the island nation's worst economic crisis.

Fernandez, who hails from Sri Lanka, took to Instagram and penned a note praying for peace in her home country.

Sri Lanka is grappling with what is said to be its worst economic crisis since independence from the UK in 1948. It is caused in part by a lack of foreign currency, which is used to pay for fuel imports.

With long lines for fuel, cooking gas, essentials in short supply and long hours of power cuts, the public has been suffering for weeks.

"As a Srilankan, it is heartbreaking to see what my country and countrymen are going through. I have been flooded with a lot of opinions since this began from around the world. I would say, do not be too quick to pass a judgement and vilify any group based on what is shown," she wrote.

There have been mass public agitations against the ruling Rajapaksa family for its mishandling of the economic situation triggered by the foreign exchange crisis and the balance of payment issues.

The public thronged the streets asking President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resign. The protests triggered the imposition of a curfew after a state of emergency was declared by the president.

Fernandez said the world and "my people" do not need "another judgement, they need empathy and support".

"Two minutes of silent prayer for their strength and well-being will bring you much closer to them than a comment based on a loose grasp of the situation. To my country and countrymen, I am hoping this situation comes to an end soon and through means which are peaceful and for the benefit of the people. Praying for immense strength to those dealing with this. Peace to all," the 36-year-old actor, who represented Sri Lanka at the Miss Universe 2006 pageant, wrote.

The president on Monday fired his brother and Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa from his post and invited the opposition parties to join a unity Cabinet to tackle the raging public anger against the hardships caused by the economic crisis.

Basil had negotiated the Indian economic relief package to help Sri Lanka tackle the current foreign exchange crisis. He has been replaced by Ali Sabry, who was previously Minister of Justice.

On Sunday night, all 26 Cabinet Ministers submitted letters of resignation.

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