Sri Lanka Crisis: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who left the country on Wednesday amid the deepening economic crisis in Sri Lanka, was the last of the six members of the country’s most powerful family who were clinging to power. Rajapaksa, his wife and two bodyguards had left the country and moved to the Maldivian capital, Male, an immigration official said on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.
Sri Lanka going through difficult times
He left the country at a time when a large number of protesters barged into his official residence and office. The protesters also barged into the residence of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who has said he would resign after the formation of the new government. It is worth noting here that only a few months ago this country was called Khushal and India was also advised to learn from this small country.
Sri Lanka was once above India in the list of happy countries
Not only this, Sri Lanka was ahead of India in the figures of Global Happiness Index 2022 as well. America was ranked 16th in this list of happy countries. Whereas, India also lags behind Pakistan and Bangladesh in this list. Pakistan was ranked 121 in this year’s World Happiness Report. Whereas India has got 136th position. So the same Sri Lanka was ranked 130 in this list. In such a situation, it is interesting to know how the situation in Sri Lanka got so bad? Here are some of the events leading up to the floor of the Rajapaksa family:
Before Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected president in 2005, the Rajapaksa family had for decades dominated local politics in the rural South district and owned a lot of land. Sensing the nationalist sentiments of the island nation’s Buddhist-Sinhalese majority population, he liberated Sri Lanka from ethnic Tamil rebels in 2009 and ended 26 years of brutal civil war. His younger brother Gotabaya was then an influential officer and military strategist in the Defense Ministry. Mahinda remained in power till 2015 and was defeated by the opposition led by his former assistant. But the family returned in 2019 and Gotabaya won the presidential election with a promise to restore security after the Easter Sunday terrorist suicide bombings.
He called for bringing back nationalism in the country and bringing the country out of economic crisis with the message of stability and development. But instead he committed one fatal mistake after another, which plunged the country into an unprecedented crisis. Amid a drop in tourism following the Easter blasts and pressure from abroad to pay off debts on disputed development projects, including a port and airport in the president’s home region, Rajapaksa did not listen to economic advisers and imposed the biggest tax hike in the country’s history. To downsize. This was done to increase spending, but critics cautioned that it would reduce the government’s revenue. The lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of the corona virus epidemic and the wrong advice of banning chemical fertilizers played a big role in worsening the economic condition of the country.
The country soon ran short of cash and could not repay the huge debt. The shortage of food, cooking gas, fuel and medicines fueled public outcry and many attributed it to mismanagement, corruption and nepotism.
Beginning of the End:
The collapse of the Rajapaksa family to the floor began in April, when escalating protests forced three of their relatives to step down in government. In May, supporters of the government attacked protesters after an incident of violence. At this the anger of the protesters erupted against Mahinda Rajapaksa and he was pressurized to resign, after which he took shelter in a naval base that had been converted into a fort.
But after Gotabaya’s adamant attitude of not resigning, the slogans of ‘Gota go home’ gained momentum in the streets. Even after this, he took the help of Wickremesinghe to save himself and appointed him the Prime Minister to get the country out of the abyss. However, Wickremesinghe did not get political support and public support for this work.