South Asia and Beyond

Sri Lanka: Army Rule, The China Factor And India’s Role

NEW DELHI: Sri Lanka is in a deep economic crisis with runaway food prices resulting in the declaration of an economic emergency by the government of President Gotbaya Rajapaksa. A senior army officer has been appointed to oversee the distribution of essential goods. It has sparked concerns in some quarters about army rule.

In this interview on The Gist with Asanga Abeyagoonasekera, a Sri Lankan foreign policy analyst and academic, we are given an insight into the unfolding crisis and what the ruling Rajapaksa family is trying to achieve. Given that the president was in the army, and continues to rely on serving and retired army officers, is an indication of his impatience with often convoluted bureaucratic processes.

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The crisis could see China deepen its hold over the island since it has the money to lend. Comparatively, India may be less inclined to do so. It has burnt its fingers in Afghanistan after investing $3 billion, but the China challenge may compel India to offer financial help.

Tune in to this conversation with Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.