Sri Lanka is in crisis – and it’s not just the country’s leaders who are to blame

All too often, international institutions grant nations credit without paying heed to the leadership’s abuses and lack of democratic accountability, writes Borzou Daragahi

Sunday 17 July 2022 13:11 BST
<p>Over the last few months, the economy nosedived and inflation exceeded 50 per cent.</p>

Over the last few months, the economy nosedived and inflation exceeded 50 per cent.

Just a few years ago, Sri Lanka was a promising bright spot in South Asia. It had a thriving economy, boasting a GDP growth of as high as 9 per cent. It drew tourists to its beaches and mountains, as well as investors to manufacturing hubs. It had begun to put the legacy of a years-long civil war behind it.

But this month the world witnessed what appeared to be the economic and political collapse of the island nation, with the country’s elite fleeing abroad and the country descending into chaos.

Certainly, Sri Lanka’s entrenched political elite, in particular president Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his family, deserves the lion’s share of the blame for the calamity, which has been years in the making. But the international community must also be held to account.

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