torsdag 14. april 2022

Sri Lanka’s Oppressive Stability Starts to Crumble

On the evening of April 2, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared a weekend-long state of emergency on the island after protests erupted outside his Colombo residence. While Sri Lanka is no stranger to periods of state of emergency – the last was imposed as recently as 2018 due to anti-Muslim riots – this time was different.

The protests surrounding Rajapaksa’s home followed weeks of building unrest due to massive shortages of fuel and essential food items and multi-hour power cuts: everyday manifestations of Sri Lanka’s worst economic crisis in decades. Sri Lanka’s enormous debt load and depletion of foreign reserves, exacerbated by a faltering tourism industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have highlighted economic mismanagement by Rajapaksa’s government. By the third day of protests, the entire Sri Lankan Cabinet had resigned.