People flee bankrupt Sri Lanka

By July 6, 2022

Sri Lanka (MNN) — Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says the island nation is bankrupt. He does not expect an immediate bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The inflation rate will soon reach 60 percent.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe says he can turn Sri Lanka’s economy around, promising a tough 2023 but improvements in 2024.

As the prices for food, fuel, and medicine increase, many Sri Lankans try to escape by boat to India or Australia. Several refugees have landed in India so far, and are being kept in a refugee camp.

Adrian De Visser with Asian Access says people have lined up for days in order to get fuel. “Yesterday, there was a report about a man who had lined up for gas [who] was living in the car for five days. He had died, and nobody knew that he died inside his own car.”

Corruption

How did things get this bad in Sri Lanka? De Visser says, “It’s because of political mismanagement and corruption. I would say very boldly that this country has been mismanaged by the recent rulers for the last 10 to 15 years. They have started borrowing money from China and other places. And we find out now that at least 10-30 percent of the money borrowed never reached its purpose.”

Furious with the ruling officials, protestors have planned a nationwide demonstration for July 9.

Meanwhile, local Christians continue to meet in small groups and pray. De Visser says, “And people are praying not only for an economic revival, but they’re asking for a spiritual revival. Because our people have lost faith in the government.”

“They have lost faith in their traditional religions.”

Sri Lankan Christians also work to show Jesus’ love to their neighbors. De Visser says, “I’ll give you an example. Our church is encouraging everybody to turn their gardens into vegetable plots. We are providing them with vegetable plants and fertilizer. We are raising fish because we want our people to have enough protein.”

 

 

The header photo shows Sri Lankan protestors in April 2022. (Photo courtesy of AntanO, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)