Sri Lanka Crisis: 5 Points On Current Situation And Efforts To Mitigate It

Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled to Maldives on Wednesday, hours before he was supposed to step down. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has declared a state of emergency in the country.

Sri Lanka Crisis: 5 Points On Current Situation And Efforts To Mitigate It

Sri Lanka crisis: Protesters demonstrating outside the office of Sri Lanka’s PM on Wednesday. (AFP Photo)

Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled to Maldives on Wednesday, hours before he was supposed to step down. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has declared a state of emergency in the country.

Here are five points explaining the crisis in Sri Lanka

  1. The island nation has witnessed months of protests over soaring prices and lack of food and fuel. Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves have virtually run dry, which means it doesn’t have money to buy foods and essential goods from other countries.

  2. According to government data, price of everyday goods has risen sharply and inflation is more than 50 per cent. Long power cuts and lack of medicines has brought the health system to the verge of collapse.

  3. There has been no official statement from Sri Lankan authorities after Rajapaksa’s departure. The BBC reported that his younger brother Basil, a former finance minister, has also fled. The whereabouts of his two other brothers – Mahinda and Chamal – are not known.

  4. Sri Lanka plunged into economic crisis due to mismanagement of successive governments. The country’s tourism sector – one of the biggest revenue generators for the economy – had been impacted hard by the 2019 serial bomb blasts across Colombo. The Covid pandemic worsened the situation.

  5. The Sri Lankan government has more than $51 billion in foreign debt, according to the BBC, and efforts have been made to clear it. G7, the group of seven industrial countries, has said it supports all such efforts. The World Bank has agreed to pay the island nation $600 million, and India too has committed $3.8 billion.

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