COLOMBO -- Serpentine lines of motorists awaiting fuel rations have become a common sight in Sri Lanka's commercial capital of Colombo, as the country grapples with an unprecedented economic crisis. Some queues stretch for miles, with auto-rickshaw drivers and car owners baking in the sun to get their hands on a few precious liters. Several people are reported to have died while waiting.
But not everyone waits. A black market for gas has sprung up. The fuel trade is a microcosm of the different ways people in the country of 22 million are experiencing the economic woes, depending on their level of wealth, as the authorities scramble to stop illicit sales and find long-term solutions.