The View from India | Sri Lanka’s Endless Crisis

Understand international affairs from the Indian perspective with View from India 

July 11, 2022 03:10 pm | Updated July 12, 2022 11:26 am IST

Demonstrators protest inside the President’s House, after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled, amid the country’s economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, July 9, 2022.

Demonstrators protest inside the President’s House, after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled, amid the country’s economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, July 9, 2022. | Photo Credit: DINUKA LIYANAWATTE

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Political parties in Sri Lanka are scrambling to form an all-party government, a day after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe pledged to resign in the wake of a historic citizens’ protest. In a culmination of people’s agitations spanning months, demonstrators on Saturday stormed the Presidential palace, Secretariat, and the official residence of the Prime Minister, and occupied the country’s seats of power, in a rare display of public fury. Arsonists also torched Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s private home.

The day after the extraordinary scenes over the weekend, from the storming of the Presidential palace to the burning of the Prime Minister’s residence, a sense of calm followed the storm, reports Meera Srinivasan in this dispatch from Colombo. There is a wide sense of scepticism among the protesters, but at the same time, they were keen to savour the moment, and partake in the new hope it has brought.

India on Sunday handed more than 44,000 metric tonnes of urea under a credit line extended to crisis-ridden Sri Lanka, as part of New Delhi’s ongoing efforts to support the island nation’s farmers and help bolster bilateral cooperation for food security, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said. High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay met Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera to inform him about the arrival of more than 44,000 metric tonnes of urea.

The Hindu, in an editorial on Sri Lanka’s latest crisis, says it is always better that a formal process is set in motion to effectuate change than it being left to the exigencies of a public uprising as the economic crisis-hit nation now faces a political challenge.

Helping Sri Lanka more meaningfully: S.C.C. Elangovan, a social worker and political activist based in Jaffna, writes that interventions which aid recovery and include relief with dignity should be the basis of any future assistance to Sri Lanka.

Japan loses an icon

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes a speech before he was shot from behind by a man in Nara, western Japan July 8, 2022 in this photo taken by The Asahi Shimbun.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes a speech before he was shot from behind by a man in Nara, western Japan July 8, 2022 in this photo taken by The Asahi Shimbun. | Photo Credit: The Asahi Shimbun

Friday’s assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shocked Japan and the world. We examined Abe’s legacy and how he raised Japan’s global standing as the country’s longest-serving Prime Minister. We also looked back at Abe’s long political career in this timeline.

  • Analysis: The Hindu, in an editorial on Abe’s legacy, said the former PM may not have succeeded in restoring Japan’s economic superpower status or in rewriting the Constitution, but still leaves behind a significant impact on Japan’s politics and society.
  • Watch: The life and career of Shinzo Abe.

The Top Five

What we are reading - the best of The Hindu’s Opinion and Analysis:

Prime Minister Nehru and the Indonesian President, Sukarno, during through the streets of Bundung in April 1955.

Prime Minister Nehru and the Indonesian President, Sukarno, during through the streets of Bundung in April 1955. | Photo Credit: HINDU PHOTO ARCHIVES

  1. From Bandung to Bali: Suhasini Haidar argues that with the changing world order following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it is time to rethink India’s role in “growing the unaligned area”, bring the “objective and balanced” outlook Nehru spoke of to the forefront of India’s strategic policy, and revisit the past to chart India’s future.
  2. Former diplomat T.P. Sreenivasan writes that with multilateralism in peril in a chaotic world, bilateral engagements may be much more productive at this point in history.
  3. Rakesh Sood on why compromise has become difficult in the Ukraine conflict.
  4. Stanly Johny on the shadow war between Israel and Iran.
  5. Vatsala Sharma and Khushi Gupta write that recent progress in the India EU relationship opens up prospects of a customised partnership and mutual growth.
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