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Emergency Rule in Sri Lanka

Emergency Rule in Sri Lanka- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: International Relations– India and its neighbourhood- relations.


Emergency Rule in Sri Lanka in News

  • Recently, Sri Lanka’s Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe declared an Emergency, days before legislators elect a new President in a scheduled parliamentary vote.
  • Emergency in Sri Lanka was declared amid political tumult and a deepening economic crisis. Mr. Wickremesinghe is a frontrunner in the contest.
    • This is the third time that Sri Lanka is under Emergency rule since April 2022.

UPSC Current Affairs


Emergency Rule in Sri Lanka

  • Powers: A state of Emergency gives the President powers to make regulations overriding existing laws in Sri Lanka.
  • Associated Concerns: democracy advocates believe that Emergency Powers will lead to arbitrary arrests, especially of dissidents.
    • It is widely believed that the Imposition of Emergency is an undemocratic draconian act.
    • Sri Lankan Emergency may affect the fundamental rights of its citizen in a democratic society.
  • Constitution provision: Constitutionally, a new President must be elected through Parliament within one month if the office of the President falls vacant.
    • The nominations will be made soon, making known the final list of presidential aspirants in Parliament, and the voting will take place on Wednesday.

The Editorial Analysis: Sri Lankan Lessons for India


Key Reasons Behind Sri Lanka’s Economic Crisis

Shortage of foreign reserves

  • The economic mismanagement of successive governments has depleted 70 per cent of Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves with only $2.31 billion left with debt repayment of over $4 billion.
  • Sri Lanka’s high dependency on imports for essential items like sugar, pulses, and cereals adds fuel to the economic meltdown as the island nation lacks foreign reserves to pay for its import bills.


The pandemic effect

  • The island nation’s huge dependence on tourism and foreign remittances was sapped by the COVID-19 pandemic that set the pretext for the current crisis.
  • Tourism, which accounts for over 10 per cent of the Sri Lankan GDP, was hurt after it lost visitors from three key countries: India, Russia and the UK.


Russia-Ukraine war-induced inflation

  • The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war resulted in steep price inflation of crude oil, sunflower oil and wheat.
  • Crude oil prices hit a record high in 14 years with prices soaring over $125/barrel at the height of the crisis.
  • India had to step in by supplying 40,000 MT of diesel under a promised $500 million line of credit. India has so far supplied over 2,00,000 MT of fuel in the last 50 days.

Agri sector crisis

  • The Rajapaksa government’s decision to ban all chemical fertilizers last year to make agriculture 100 per cent organic severely hit the country’s farm production, especially in rice and sugar production forcing the reversal of this decision.


Sharp fall in FDI

  • According to government data, FDI stood at $548 million in 2020 compared to $793 million and $1.6 billion in 2019 and 2018, respectively.


Crisis in Sri Lanka- Sri Lankan PM Resigns


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