Sri Lanka is in the midst of its worst crisis in 70 years. The island country headed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa recently defaulted on over $51 billion of debt, putting it in a state of emergency. As the Sri Lankan Rupee became the worst-performing currency in the world, many blamed the country’s failed tax cuts, its reliance on tourism, and its ongoing agricultural crisis for the recession.
These failures, as well as an ongoing power dispute between Gotabaya and the Sri Lankan Parliament, spurred several protests that called for an immediate response and the resignation of the current administration. Some, like the Rambukkana protest, turned violent after police provocation. In response, Gotabaya appointed a new 17 member cabinet on April 18th after the previous cabinet resigned en masse.
Sri Lankan officials led by finance minister Ali Sabry are negotiating with the IMF in search of a solution to the 3-year long situation. India, China, and other parties have also pledged over $2.5 billion in financial and humanitarian aid to prevent any more complications.