Interpreting India
Interpreting India
Jun 16, 2022
Understanding Sri Lanka's Ongoing Economic Crisis with Meera Srinivasan
Play • 41 min

Meera Srinivasan, talking about the Sri Lankan government’s lack of planning to deal with an impending economic disaster, reported, “Hospitals are putting off surgeries without enough medical supplies, ink and newsprint shortages have forced newspapers to suspend editions, and schools have postponed term exams because there is no paper to print the questions.” Moreover, Sri Lanka’s foreign currency reserve has virtually dried up and shortages of food and fuel have caused prices to soar. In early April, people took to the streets of Colombo in protest. Much of the popular anger for the economic crisis has been directed at the country’s president. 

Why did Sri Lanka default on its debt? Were the signs of misgovernance visible long before the crisis struck? What political cost does it impose on the people? 

In this episode of Interpreting India, Meera Srinivasan joins Shibani Mehta to look at this crisis, Sri Lanka’s worst since it gained independence in 1948. 

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Episode Contributors

Meera Srinivasan is the Sri Lanka correspondent of The Hindu and she also covers the Maldives. She has written extensively on the post-war challenges of Sri Lanka. As a resident correspondent for The Hindu, she covered key elections in 2015, 2019 and 2020 along with the Easter Terror Bombings of 2019.  

Shibani Mehta is a research analyst with the Security Studies Program at Carnegie India. Her research focuses on India’s security and foreign policies. She has a keen interest in understanding foreign policy decision-making and the role of institutions and personalities in diplomacy.

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Additional Reading

Sri Lanka's Aggravating Economic Crisis by Meera Srinivasan

Polarization, Civil War, and Persistent Majoritarianism in Sri Lanka by Ahilan Kadirgamar

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