Sri Lanka Crisis

The Sri Lanka Crisis is taking a new turn everyday. After days of protests, the Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa has resigned from his post. This is a partial victory for the protestors who are demanding for the president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa to step down as well. To maintain order, emergency powers have been invoked to control the ever-increasing anti-government protests.

The situation is so bleak that people are even facing a dearth of essential items including medicines. In addition, power cuts up to 12 hours are imposed in several areas of the island country.

Several factors led to the crisis ranging from the country’s lucrative tourism struck by Covid to the government’s decision to ban the usage of chemical fertilizers and move towards organic farming amid the pandemic. As of February, country was left with only $2.31 billion as reserves and a huge debt repayment of $4 billion due this year. China is the largest lender followed by Japan and India. After long resisting, the government approached the IMF in April. In an article by Business Standard ,IMF stated “Going forward, the IMF team will support Sri Lanka’s efforts to overcome the current economic crisis by working closely with the authorities on their economic program, and by engaging with all other stakeholders in support of a timely resolution of the crisis. “Earlier in 2022, President Rajapaksa asked China to restructure repayments on around $3.5bn of debt owed to Beijing. India also came forward to help by signing a deal with China, i.e.  $1 billion credit line for importing essentials, including food and medicine. “As a close neighbor of Sri Lanka, with historical ties, India is fully supportive of its democracy, stability and economic recovery,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.”India will always be guided by the best interests of the people of Sri Lanka expressed through democratic processes,” the MEA spokesperson said.

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