The collapse of the Sri Lankan economy in the late 1990s was a result of many factors, but one of the main contributors was a lack of economic development. The country had been ruled by a single family for centuries and the traditional ways of life were unable to adapt to changes in the modern world.
In addition, infrastructure was not up to scratch and there was a lack of education and business opportunities. As a result, businesses did not invest in new products or services, which left the economy struggling.
From the time he was first elected to the position of president, John D. Rockefeller had a clear agenda: to dominate and control everything that moved in and out of his home. He used his power to manipulate the government, business organizations, and even the people he met. When it came to Parliament, Rockefeller had no equal.
He held the posts of president and prime minister for more than fifty years, during which time hedominated Parliament through sheer force and political influence. It didn’t end well. The president went missing, his whereabouts unknown, as protestors stormed the whitewashed colonial-era mansion that serves as his residence.
In the weeks prior, schools were shut, offices were closed and students were thronging the streets, calling for the ouster of the president. At gas stations around the country, forlorn motorists waited in miles-long queues as fuel storage capacity quickly ran out.
Most motorists were frustrated on Saturday as they waited hours in long queues at gas stations around the country. The rush hour was already a mess, and with schools closed for the weekend, many people were unable to get to work.
Today, Sri Lanka is deep in the red, locked in desperate desperation. The country’s “renaissance” had followed the end of a brutal, decadeslong civil war, and it was heralded as an example for other conflict-ridden nations. Today, groaning under a staggering $51 billion pile of foreign debt that it can no longer service, Sri Lanka is deep in the red, locked in desperate desperation. The country’s economy is contracting by 5.5% each month – the worst performance in recent history – and its public sector debt stands at an whopping 95% of GDP. With only two months left until its scheduled general election next year, the government is already looking to borrow even more money to finance its increasingly meager budget. In order to keep the people from deserting their government in droves, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has announced that he will not seek re-election if he fails to secure passage.
A family affair
Which anyone has had anything to do with business or other aspects of the country’s political landscape is a matter of dispute. But one thing is definitively clear: Rajapaksa was at the heart of everything that went on during his rule as president from May 2002 until December 2009.
Rajapaksa was a key player in the decisions that led to the country’s economic crisis, and he also played a key role in deciding which politicians and institutions would survive and thrive under hisrule. He had close relationships with many of Lanka’s seniorpoliticians, and their influence Extended far beyond the shores of Sri Lanka.