Sri Lanka, the tiny island nation off the southern tip of India, is in full crisis mode. Angry citizens, protesting severe inflation along with fuel, food, and medication shortages have overtaken several political leaders’ homes, including the official residences of the president and the prime minister. Protests over government policies that have brought hunger and deprivation began in March but boiled over last weekend when protesters breached the homes of government officials.
In May, several of the world’s biggest lenders confirmed that Sri Lanka had defaulted on close to $78 billion in foreign debts. The government asked for a restructure of loans.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have both promised to resign over the crisis, which is quickly spiraling out of control amid 50-percent-plus inflation and shortages of fuel, food, and medication. Rolling blackouts have become common throughout the nation as the fragile energy grid struggles to keep up with demand.
Earlier on Tuesday, Rajapaksa, along with his wife and brother, attempted to leave the nation, only to be thwarted by protesters and airport immigration officers who refused to go into a VIP area to stamp his passport. Rajapaska and his wife ended up staying at a nearby military base.
Not surprisingly, Sri Lanka currently has one of the highest ESG (environment, social, and corporate governance) scores in the world at 96. By way of comparison, Sweden currently holds a score of 96, while the United States trails far behind with a score of just 51.
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