Crises in Sri Lanka

How do the world see crises in Sri lanka?

Crises in Sri Lanka is a painful thing for all of us. But let find how the world see it!

Weakness in internal politics is the base of disturbance for many low middles and developing countries. These also get seriously hit by the external economic shocks including the Russia-Ukraine war and Covid-19. This country appears to be an extremely powerful example for the rest of the world who are predicted to end in the same way or are soon to face a similar predicament.

Note it down that it isn’t a poor country. With higher per capita income than South Africa, Indonesia, Egypt, and Peru, this country today faces political crises powered by the severe shortages of electricity, fuel, food, and medicine. It appears that the currency is collapsing and this is why they are not able to afford any imports or hold the ability to repay any debt.

What made Sri Lanka reach here?

There has been a legacy of violence at the center of Sri Lanka’s politics since the end of the civil war. In the year 2019, the country suffered an attack by ISIS, bombing, insecurities, etc., leading the countries to face the toughness. The situation helped elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa and then Mahinda who is the former prime minister too.

Having the 2020 election victory made the Rajapaksas stronger. The strength can be justified by their holding the ability to rewrite Sri Lanka’s constitution. This turned out to be a serious economic mistake that added jobs to family and friends. This resulted in populist tax-cutting, decreasing revenue, etc. Thus, a tough situation for the country to borrow money.

Similarly the external factors, one of the major ones Covid-19 devastated the country, especially the tourism sector which has been a great contributor. The tourism sector still reeling from terrorism is making the country face a loss of revenue.

People in the Sri Lankan government did not accept what was they needed for the country and such ignorance lead to tough economic conditions. The situation got worse with the ban on chemical fertilizer as they tried pushing farmers towards organic farming during the economic crises.

The destruction in the country was then followed by the Russia-Ukraine war which inflicted the food and fuel prices. Since the two are the leading exporters of grain, the limit in production is making it difficult for the rest of the world to suffer.

Rising fuel prices all over the world naturally cause oil supply difficulties due to which oil has crossed $100 per barrel. As far as medication is concerned, Sri Lanka import almost 80% of its medicines. Indian and European donors are helping Sri Lanka but within limits.

The public in Sri Lanka started showing their anger at the beginning of May. The situation gets worst even for the Rajapaksa family due to economic pressures. Prime Minister and President both also get into fights due to these circumstances.

The bloodshed started at the moment when the crowd of peaceful protestors demanding the Prime Minister’s resignation was counter-attacked by the government. After this, protestors got much angrier and started attacking the homes of Rajapaksa’s family allies and also threaten the personal residence of the Prime Minister. The Sri Lankan PM was forcefully ousted and he required the protection of security forces as well at the time of evacuation from his home at 4 AM.

Emergency was declared all over the country. More the politicians and their homes have been attacked by the angry mobs. A parliament member was also killed in his car. Two other siblings of President Rajapaksa and his nephew have also given resignation from their cabinet posts.

It was the first time in Sri Lankans’ history that they defaulted on their foreign debts last month.

Current Scenario

President Rajapaksa reversed back some of the constitutional amendments that gave him more power. He also accepted Indian and Chinese help along with an appeal to IMF as well for a bailout package.

Ranil Wickremesing, took charge as the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka who is famous in public for his bold comments and actions regarding the Sri Lankan problems.

The new Prime Minister said that he will raise taxes to get a bailout package from IMF. He asked all of the protestors to join the process of reforms.  

Protestors are still demanding President Rajapaksa’s resignation.

Sri Lankan Minister of energy also told that Sri Lanka will get Russian oil delivery soon to resume operations of Sri Lankan oil refinery. It was all about Sri Lanka but it’s a fear that it can be repeated in any of the developing countries sooner or later.