Political unrest in Sri Lanka amid rising economic turmoil

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Political unrest in Sri Lanka amid rising economic turmoil

Rajapaksa resigns
Image source: © 2022 Kalkine Media®

Highlights

  • Several economists have said that the main problem behind Sri Lanka’s current situation is economic mismanagement.
  • Hundreds have been injured in protests; few have even died including a ruling party MP.
  • After Mahinda Rajapaksa’s resignation, the President plans to put the opposition leaders in key government roles.

Sri Lanka has been under the radar of the worst economic crisis as it ran out of its foreign reserves. Now, the economy is facing grim challenges with ill supply of goods and services, including food, vegetables, and fuel.

Amid the rising economic tensions in the country, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on May 9. On 12 May 2022, Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as Sri Lanka's Prime Minister for the sixth time. The veteran politician has never completed a full term in office.

Rajapaksha resigns

Source- Twitter

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Mahinda Rajapaksa resigns

Protests were going on in the national capital for weeks between anti-government groups and supporters of the government. Rajapaksa's party has been on and off in power for over a decade. And, with the current economic instability, the protestors seemed to be asking Rajapaksa’s family to step down.

The people in power have stated that the current economic crisis is mainly because of the pandemic, and the tourism revenue fell because of border restrictions. However, several economists have said that the main problem behind Sri Lanka’s current situation is economic mismanagement.

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Violent protests in the capital

Hundreds have been injured in the protests, and few have died, including a ruling party MP. The clashes between the two groups have been going on for a month. Additionally, post the Prime Minister's resignation, the anti-government groups are now demanding for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to step down.  

Sri Lanka’s biggest economic crisis

Source: © Yurchello108 | Megapixl.com

Massive economic crisis

The country has been under the most drenching economic instability ever since its independence in 1948. The central crisis is due to the lack of foreign reserves availability. Reserves are dried up, so much so, that the country is failing to afford food, oil, medicines, and other essentials.

Now, to resolve the current scenario, the President plans to put the opposition leaders in key government roles. However, it is unclear whether the opposition leaders will take the lead and if they do, will citizens be satisfied.

The country of 22 million people is in massive economic instability. The world is going through interest rate hikes, inflation and other supply chain issues. And here, Sri Lanka is suffering through the most significant financial crisis of the current times.

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Now, following the Prime Minister’s resignation, what the President would do to deal with the impending crisis is yet to be seen. Whether there will be a new coalition government, or the protest would pile up- time will tell!

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