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Sri Lanka

Black-and-white portraits of two men are held up by people in red uniforms.
Black-and-white portraits of two men are held up by people in red uniforms.

Sri Lanka’s Left Turn

This year’s protests have revitalized the country’s socialists. But can they capitalize on that momentum electorally?

The Sri Lankan flag is lowered; beneath it stand people in military uniforms.
The Sri Lankan flag is lowered; beneath it stand people in military uniforms.

In Sri Lanka, the Military Still Runs the Show

The international community has a part to play in ending its culture of impunity.

A man lifts a gas tank during a protest in Sri Lanka.
A man lifts a gas tank during a protest in Sri Lanka.

Inside Sri Lanka’s Devastating Economic Crisis

“We managed to survive the pandemic, but this is worse.”

The bottom half of a person standing with plastic grocery bags is shown.
The bottom half of a person standing with plastic grocery bags is shown.

Pregnant Sri Lankans Fear ‘One Meal Per Day’

The food crisis is hitting the country’s most vulnerable the hardest.

Protesters wave flags and chant slogans after taking control of the prime minister’s office.
Protesters wave flags and chant slogans after taking control of the prime minister’s office.

China Made a Failed Bet on Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa Family

Beijing’s investments in the island look shaky after protests topple the government.

Protesters shout slogans during an ongoing anti-government demonstration near the president’s office in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on April 19.
Protesters shout slogans during an ongoing anti-government demonstration near the president’s office in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on April 19.

Sri Lanka’s Road to Ruin Was Political, Not Economic

The proximate cause for the protests is inflation, but the roots are in Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism.

University students take part in a demonstration demanding the resignation of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa over the country’s massive economic crisis in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on May 19.
University students take part in a demonstration demanding the resignation of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa over the country’s massive economic crisis in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on May 19.

Sri Lanka Is an Omen

To solve a global economic unwinding, the world must learn to focus on more than one crisis at a time.

University students speak with police during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
University students speak with police during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Sri Lanka’s President Is Girding Himself for the Long Haul

Despite two months of anti-government protests, Gotabaya Rajapaksa doesn’t seem like a leader preparing to relinquish power.

Buddhist monks take part in demonstration outside the president's office in Colombo on April 26.
Buddhist monks take part in demonstration outside the president's office in Colombo on April 26.

How the Rajapaksas Destroyed Sri Lanka’s Economy

Crony capitalism, protectionism, and corruption have caused havoc—uniting various ethnic groups, including Sinhalese Buddhists, in protest against the regime.

A man carries a child on his shoulders during an anti-government demonstration in Sri Lanka.
A man carries a child on his shoulders during an anti-government demonstration in Sri Lanka.

Inside Sri Lanka’s Unprecedented Mass Protests

Demonstrators have already made an impact but lack a unified agenda—and face a state notorious for crushing dissent.

Demonstrators take part in a protest against Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Demonstrators take part in a protest against Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa Leadership Won’t Step Down

As the brothers helming the government struggle with a spiraling economic crisis, they still have legislators and generals behind them—for now.

A Chinese soldier stands with Sri Lankan military personnel during a training exercise in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, on Sept. 23, 2019.
A Chinese soldier stands with Sri Lankan military personnel during a training exercise in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, on Sept. 23, 2019.

Across South Asia, U.S. and India Push Back Against China

Beijing’s strategic initiatives on the subcontinent are sputtering.

Tea pickers remove weeds at an organic tea plantation.
Tea pickers remove weeds at an organic tea plantation.

In Sri Lanka, Organic Farming Went Catastrophically Wrong

A nationwide experiment is abandoned after producing only misery.

China and the Maldives’ presidents attend a welcome ceremony.
China and the Maldives’ presidents attend a welcome ceremony.

China’s Two-Ocean Strategy Puts India in a Pincer

The Chinese foreign minister’s island hopping is the latest sign of contestation over the Indo-Pacific.

A woman carrying food bags walks pasts people queuing outside a state-run supermarket in Sri Lanka.
A woman carrying food bags walks pasts people queuing outside a state-run supermarket in Sri Lanka.

How to End Sri Lanka’s Food Crisis

Ignoring economists and committing human rights violations come at a high cost for the country’s economy.

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