Sri Lanka protests reach their 100th day
Colombo's political and economic crisis is still ongoing.
Protests in Sri Lanka have reached their 100th day on Sunday, forcing one President out of his office and now the protestors are after his successor as the economic crisis worsens.
Last weekend, Gotabaya Rajapaksa narrowly escaped his palace just before protesters stormed his residence. Rajapaksa is blamed by the protesters for Sri Lanka's financial turmoil, which has put 22 million people in suffering as they endure food, medicine, and fuel shortages.
Rajapaksa's ousting was organized mainly by Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok posts.
It all began as a two-day protest on April 9, when tens of thousands of people sat in front of Rajapaksa's office.
After Rajapaska's resignation, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe automatically became acting President and is looking for a vote next week to become the next President. However, his popularity among protesters isn't so high.
US eyes Sri Lanka crisis with twisted excitement
Sri Lanka has become the first country to announce default on its foreign debt in the 21st century as its government declared bankruptcy, in addition to living a political crisis that has seen its President announce resignation and an economic crisis which has crippled millions of lives in the country.
Sri Lanka grapples with record inflation rates, medicine, fuel and food shortages which came as a result of multiple factors, such as the COVID-19 pandemic that hit the country's lifeline, the tourism industry, and energy inflation, which came as a result of the war in Ukraine.
Sri Lanka's debt problem did not come from China as major Western news outlets are trying to portray. In fact, bilateral foreign debt to China only accounts for 10% of the country's outstanding foreign debt. Most of the debt is owed to commercial creditors and multilateral financial institutions from the West - those are largely responsible for the crippling debt, unpayable at this time. On its part, Sri Lanka sold the debt to vulture funds, which "exploited Sri Lanka's every penny."
Will Sri Lanka become a battlefield for exploitation? "Sri Lanka is already scarred and cannot bear the pressure and cost of becoming a geopolitical arena," The Global Times wrote. But, the US looks "at Sri Lanka which is in crisis not with anxiety, but with twisted excitement."
Genuine assistance to Colombo does not seem to be anywhere on the horizon.