Headline, April 24 2022/ ''' '' SRI LANKA SIR '' '''

''' '' SRI LANKA SIR '' '''

THE 22 MILLION PEOPLE OF SRI LANKA HAVE been exposed to a grave economic crisis with soaring inflation and daily power cuts that last for hours. In the absence of government and rule of law, A Failed-State looms large.

THE WORLD STUDENTS SOCIETY CANNOT HELP BUT WONDER in grief how Sri Lanka went from being the most educated nation in South Asia to becoming plunged into a severe economic crisis that is crushing the population.

BY THE END OF FEBRUARY - SRI LANKA'S FOREIGN exchange reserves shrank to $375 million, which downgraded its credit rating. The already deleted foreign exchange reserve suffered from yet another blow after a rise in global crude prices.

Prices of basic food items like bread, milk, lentils, sugar wheat and rice also quadrupled. In March, the government increased the prices of petrol by 43.5% and diesel by 45.5% further burdening the public.

EVEN THOUGH THE COUNTRY recently received a $1 billion bailout package from India, it will be insufficient to meet the import of essential items. The country also needs to pay a debt of over $6 billion soon.

Why did the Sri Lankan leadership fail to anticipate the economic crisis and undertake measures to  salvage their country from colossal hardships? For years, Sri Lankans demonstrated resilience and courage in combating a civil war and terrorism, yet they failed to prudently deal with issues that triggered the economic crisis.

Perhaps, it is structural fault lines in Sri Lanka that made it difficult for the incumbent regime to provide relief to the people.

Three major lessons can be learned from the ongoing turmoil in Sri Lanka in terms of economic management, planning, leadership qualities for good governance, rule of law, accountability and eradicating of corruption.

FIRST, despite the regime's imposition of curfew, bans, and the use of force to quash popular protests against the Rajapaksa family, the people have continued to defy the regime. The opposition-led alliance Samagi Jana Balawegaya [SJB] has condemned both the President and Prime Minister for their incompetence.

They have also refused to join the Unity Government proposed by the beleaguered President. Even though the Rajapaksa regime has committed serious human rights violations, the people have demonstrated sheer resilience and will by continuing demonstrations against the government.

The popular revolt is much like the ' Arab Spring ' and may bear fruit for the downtrodden population as it indicates that the tide has turned on Rajapaksa's autocratic rule.

SECOND, the Sri Lankan elites have long benefitted from a system based on political patronage and corruption will not be spared by the ongoing crisis. Despite having accumulated significant wealth over the years, the elites have remained adamant about making any sacrifices for the country.

They have refused to support or side with the masses. Sooner rather than later, the elites begin feeling the impact of the crises and will need to make some very crucial decisions.

THIRD, Sri Lanka is a major test for democracy, governance, rule of law, and accountability. If the military along with other security agencies takes control and restricts the Rajapaksa family, democracy will be derailed, and the future of political forces will become weaker.

Unfortunately, however, the government has already lost popular support and credibility because of which the country now finds itself at a critical juncture.

The absence of a crisis management mechanism has created a power vacuum, which threatens both the present and the future of the country. Had there been political will and determination amongst the political forces of the country, Sri Lanka could have undertaken measures for recovery.

Besides India, no other South Asian countries have offered any other form of support or assistance to Sri Lanka, which raises alarm over the absence of regional cooperation in South Asia. Even the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation [SAARC] has long been non-functional.

God forbid, Sri Lanka could easily fall into a grave economic and political crisis. A spin out as a failed-state.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research On State-of-the-World, in particular South Asia, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Dr. Moonis Ahmar, Dean Faculty of Social Science, University of Karachi.

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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