Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Tuesday, Jun 18, 2024

Extraordinary scenes in Sri Lanka are the product of a man-made disaster

Extraordinary scenes in Sri Lanka are the product of a man-made disaster

After a day of demonstrations in the heart of government, protesters have forced out the prime minister and the president. But the economic crisis besetting the country is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.

The unprecedented events in Colombo have been the result of a culmination of over three months of protests by ordinary Sri Lankans against the government, and in particular the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The country's Presidential Secretariat, the heart of government, was stormed by thousands of protesters. Many with the nation's flag draped over them ran up the steps and into the iconic building.

Later the prime minister's home was set on fire by protesters, hours after he had said he would resign. The president, under intense pressure to follow suit, did so close to 11pm local time.

Since morning there had been clashes between protesters and security forces across the capital city Colombo.

Undeterred by tear gas, police firing in the air and water cannon, protesters gathered to march on the president's house to force him out of office. Many are reported to be injured.

Their patience wore thin as they argued with the military who tried to stop them.

With sheer numbers, momentum and determination they made a final push and broke down the multi-layer police barriers from their path.

They stormed the heavily fortified president's house and walked unhindered through the gardens, corridors and many rooms of the building. As they moved around taking pictures and selfies they warned their president to go.

And few didn't miss a chance to cool off by jumping into the swimming pool of the most secure address in the country.

Mr Rajapaksa had earlier been evacuated to an undisclosed location and there were reports he'd been transferred to a naval ship.

Temple Tree, the official residence of Prime Minister Ranil Wikremesinghe, has not been spared either - this too was stormed.

In an emergency meeting, the prime minister agreed to step down for an all party government to be formed.

A lawyer who didn't want to be identified said: "At the moment I think people's struggle is moving successfully. And I wish all the best for the struggle and at the end we will make a good change for our country."

Sri Lanka's 22 million people are facing the worst-ever economic crisis, which has driven up prices and triggered shortages of food, medicine and fuel.

The deep-rooted economic crisis has remained unaddressed for decades by successive governments.

The Rajapaksa administration's reckless and mismanaged economic policies has deepened the crisis.

Crowds assembled outside the president's office in Colombo.

Protestors inside President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's home in Colombo.

Tax cuts, severe import restrictions and the reluctance to bring in prudent economic reforms laid bare the structural deficiency in the government's economic policy.

With a severe balance of payment crisis, international agencies downgraded the country, further hampering any chances of foreign investment.

Protesters came prepared with gas masks.

Tourism generates more than $4bn a year, but the industry was hit hard by the COVID pandemic.

To tide over the short term, the government borrowed heavily forcing the country into a debt trap.

The country is virtually bankrupt with no foreign reserves to buy vital commodities.

It has defaulted on its $51bn external debt and is now in talks for a $3bn bail-out with the International Monetary Fund.

However, the magnitude of the crisis is such that these loans may not be sufficient to get out of the balance of payment problems any time soon as the current deficit is gigantic.

But for the moment, it's ordinary Sri Lankans who will have to bear the brunt of the worst man-made disaster the country is witnessing.


Related Articles

Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner