The Sri Lankan government declared an economic emergency last week. The immediate trigger seems to have been rising food prices, with reports of shortages of essential items such as milk powder, sugar and kerosene.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has called in the army to manage the crisis by rationing the supply of essential goods, and take action against hoarders. He has also appointed a former army general as Commissioner of Essential Services, who will have the power to seize food stocks held by traders and retailers, and regulate their prices.
So, how did Sri Lanka end up with a food crisis? And what exactly is ailing the Sri Lankan economy? Is it just the COVID-effect or is it something deeper?
Guest: Meera Srinivasan, Sri Lanka correspondent, The Hindu
Host: G. Sampath, Social Affairs Editor, The Hindu
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