Faced with an unprecedented forex crisis, the government on Tuesday declared it was suspending interest and capital payments on its huge foreign debt.

The CSE said that regulators believed it was in the best interest of "market participants if they are afforded an opportunity to have more clarity and understanding of the economic conditions".

The island nation is grappling with its worst economic downturn since independence in 1948, with regular blackouts and acute shortages of food and fuel in addition to record inflation.

The CSE's All Share Index has shed over 38 percent in the past three months, while the Sri Lankan rupee has fallen by more than 35 percent against the US dollar in the past month.

The crisis has caused widespread misery for Sri Lanka's 22 million people and led to weeks of anti-government protests.

Thousands of people were camping outside President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's office for the eighth straight day Saturday, chanting "Go home Gota".

Sri Lanka had sought debt relief from India and China, but both countries instead offered more credit lines to buy commodities from them.