Sri Lanka should move closer to the US and resolve its ongoing crisis. For all the Rajapaksas’ giving cold shoulder to the International Monetary Fund’s offer for help, it is with diplomatic assistance provided by India that Sri Lanka must mend ties with the US.
On 12 April, Sri Lanka declared the default on all payments on its $51-billion external debt to buy oil and agricultural commodities. The alarming level of food scarcity in the country has mobilised the population to demand the ouster of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa with the slogans ‘Go Gota Go’ and ‘Go Home Gota’ echoing on the streets. His decision to impose a public emergency on 1 April intensified protests further, leading to its quick revocation four days later. On the same day, former President Maithripala Sirisena-led Sri Lanka Freedom Party decided to withdraw its support from the ruling coalition led by Mahinda Rajapaksa. Till now, 42 members of the Sri Lankan parliament have withdrawn their support from the ruling coalition, including 12 from the Rajapaksas’ Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, leading to the government’s loss of majority.
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