Sri Lanka: Briefing Note

For a detailed timeline of major events in Sri Lanka post-2019, please visit our Sri Lanka Timeline.

Our previous Sri Lanka briefing notes can found here.

Political Landscape

  • The landscape continues to be dominated by discourse around the leftist NPP party: this time in the aftermath of their visit to India on an official visit.
    • The NPP is attempting to pitch this as an example of their growth into a party fit for government. 
    • Its opponents are trying to portray the visit as hypocrisy and proof that for all their extravagant rhetoric, the NPP are constrained by the same geopolitical realities as every other aspirant for government. 
  • The biggest winner here is the Indian government. It is now starkly apparent that whoever forms a government will have to defer to the political muscle and economic might of India.
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Sri Lanka: Briefing Note

For a detailed timeline of major events in Sri Lanka post-2019, please visit our Sri Lanka Timeline.

Political Landscape

  • As Sri Lanka celebrated its 76th Independence Day on the 4th of February, the political outlook with elections due in August/September continues to be murky.
  • At a speech to mark the occasion, President Ranil Wickremesinghe stated:
    • “On several occasions, I pointed out the seriousness and danger of the looming economic crisis we are facing today. I have already said that the first six months of this year will be extremely difficult. We have to face this difficult situation in our stride, although unwillingly, for the sake of the country.”.
  • With an eye towards elections, this shows awareness of the ongoing discontent with many of the measures taken under the IMF program, such as increased taxes and changes to the social safety net.
  • Wickremesinghe’s future electoral success is contingent on his ability to persuade the electorate that the current austerity is for the greater good, and the only available option.
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