Courtesy: Col Ramakrishna
SRILANKAN PRESIDENT ESCAPES TO MALDIVES TO ESCAPE THE ANGER OF THE PUBLIC
No one country or institution can help Srilanka sliding into an anarchy. Problems of External Debt over 40 billion $ are too large even for a group to handle. There is no quick fix solution to Srilankan mess.
China has already advised its citizens in Srilanka to take adequate security precautions in the event Chinese are targeted by an enraged public. It is an open secret that Chinese loans on projects are a major reason for Srilankan defaults in payments.
India Baiters are having a field day spreading rumours of Indian army moving into Srilanka. Then there are those idealists and pseudo visionaries who want Srilanka to join India, voluntarily.
Except India no country has tried to help Srilanka with essential items of food, fuel and foreign exchange.
Vinasha Kale Vipareeta Buddhi
An unfortunate combination of circumstances, compounded by greed and selfishness has led to the Srilankan debacle.
“Some 253 people were killed and over 500 were injured when suicide bombers blew up churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on April 21……” in 2019.
Covid for two years 2020 and 2021 left the major income generating tourism industry devastated.
Decisions by Rajapaksa government to make major concessions on taxes, haste in banning fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture and tea plantations resulted in a fall in production with economic consequences.
Added was the loans taken for unviable projects like Hambantota, Cochin harbor from China.
Who will take Responsibility in Srilanka in 2022?
Politically Srilanka is unstable. There is no government. The political party of Gotabaya Rajapaksa had the majority and was itself the root cause of the economic collapse. Gotabaya has fled the country in a naval ship as per the latest reports.
House of the Prime minister Ranil Wickremasinghe (a hasty replacement for a Rajapaksa family member) has been burned to the ground by a mob. Ranil himself had offered his resignation also.
Any foreign government or. Institution will need a responsible government to negotiate with, and the government should have experts to study deals beneficial to Srilanka. Countries dealing with Srilanka will also need assurances that their money is safe.
Economic mess in Srilanka cannot be set right over night. Prime Minister Wickremasinghe did place before the Srilankan parliament a plan that will start to stabilize the economy by 2025 to bring it back to 2019 level. But then he is resigning.Who will bell the Cat?
2 hours ago � The private residence of Ranil Wickramasinghe, who resigned as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Saturday, has been set on fire, news agency AFP�…
Right now thanks to the war in Europe, supply chains of critical items of Oil, natural gas , wheat and food grains, manufacturing intermediaries have been badly affected. Prices of essential commodities are going through the roof. Nearly forty countries are facing high inflation and stagnation.
No single country or organisation has funds to spare. India has already provided over 3 billion $ in assistance and recovering from Covid does not have much more to spare. Countries in Europe and even USA are in a tight spot economically.
Difficult Times Ahead
Srilanka needs a strong but sane hand at the highest level of the government right now to formulate policies and implement hard decisions.
A government that can Instil confidence in donors in the international arena, even while retaining support from an angry public which will face higher taxes and inflation. Rationing of petroleum and cooking gas, scarcity of essentials including food items will become necessary.
The gung-ho approach of earlier years will need to be replaced with mature handling of ethnic and religious divide, especially the Tamil sentiments. The deliberate actions of Rajapaksa government to impoverish Srilanka Tamils who are a sizeable minority in the country will need to change.
The government of India will also be in a better position to offer help and assistance if it is sure that Tamils in the north will be treated fairly by the Sinhalese majority. Any harassment of Tamils will generate adverse reactions in Tamil Nadu, and with the general election approaching in 2024, the subject of aid to Srilanka will become a major issue.
Pakistan next door is also beset with same problems as Srilanka.
There is No political stability, economic down with very high inflation. Therefore, the capacity of Pakistan to interfere in Srilanka affairs to create religious divide and inflame anti India sentiments will be reduced to a great extent.
Time For Cooperation in South Asia
India needs to tread carefully, and not get involved in the Srilankan self-created mess. Srilanka is NOT in the headlines in the western world or UN. Ukraine, and Russia are. China, and India are best placed today to help Srilanka.
Ultimately it is on the Shoulders of Srilankan citizens to elect a stable and strong government which will guide them through the crises. A new president is set to be elected on 19th July as a replacement for Gotabhaya Rajapaksa who was forced to flee by an angry public.