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'How Four Powerful Brothers Broke an Island Nation'

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Writing in the Bloomberg, Ruth Pollard highlighted that the Rajapaksa regime has "lost control of Sri Lanka’s economy" as the island continues to suffer from an economic crisis "mostly of its own making".

"From an ill-fated fertiliser ban that led to a dramatic fall in yields of crops like rice and tea, to its failure to deal with a foreign-currency crisis that’s now a humanitarian emergency, the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is fast running out of solutions. Relying until now on help from its two major backers — India and China — and stubbornly refusing wider international aid, the country is on the verge of default," Pollard wrote. 

"Shortages of electricity, fuel, food and medicine are widespread and causing real pain for everyone from daily wage earners to operators trying to jumpstart the key tourism industry after two years of Covid interruptions and the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings that targeted churches and luxury hotels, killing nearly 270 people," Pollard added. 

"According to some estimates, about 75% of the budget is under the control of Rajapaksa ministers in government. It is dynastic politics at its purest. But all the Rajapaksas in power haven’t been able to do what needed to be done to help Sri Lanka out of this mess."

"Gotabaya is hardly the unifying figure Sri Lanka needs right now. However, with a two-thirds majority in Parliament and elections not due until 2024 and 2025, the opposition protests are unlikely to loosen the family’s grip on power," she concluded. 

Read the full piece here.

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