Clergy in ‘bankrupt’ Sri Lanka call for President and PM to resign – National Herald
“In the past, we have held discussions as a developing country,” Wickremesinghe said. “But now the situation is different. We are now participating in the negotiations as a bankrupt country. Therefore, we have to face a more difficult and complicated situation.”
While many of Sri Lanka’s problems have been self-inflicted and can largely be blamed on financial mismanagement, particularly by the Rajapaksas, the Covid pandemic wrought havoc on the country’s tourism sector, which has been a major foreign exchange earner. And now, the war in Ukraine, which has created havoc with global food supplies, has hastened the crisis. With soaring energy and food prices, disruptions in the supply chain and countries, including India, suddenly safe-guarding their own food stocks zealously, Sri Lanka’s very limited foreign exchange is bringing in less and less, compounding the entire crisis of scarcity. In a recent interview, Wickremesinghe blamed the war in Ukraine as a critical factor in the continued rapid contraction of the Sri Lankan economy.
India appears to have emerged as the only country staunchly standing by Sri Lanka and, after already providing over 3.5 billion dollars in assistance, through currency swap arrangements and soft loans and grants for fuel and food, since the beginning of 2022. Two ships of diesel and two ships of petrol will be delivered from India in July as a solution to Sri Lanka’s fuel crisis, as the governments of both countries finalise the logistics to transport these tankers soon.
This is despite a recent outpouring of public anger over some laws being amended to hand some infrastructure and energy projects to the Adani group, considered close to India’s ruling establishment.