Sri Lanka: Military Raids Main Protest Camp

    Sri Lanka: Military Raids Main Protest Camp
    Last updated: 2 months ago
    Image credit: AP [via The Washington Post]


    • On Fri., hundreds of Sri Lankan military and security forces carried out a "special operation," storming the main anti-government protest camp outside the presidential offices in Colombo. [1]
    • Nine people were reportedly arrested as police claimed the protesters had no right to occupy the area. [2]
    • The raid, which injured over 50 people, came as Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as Sri Lanka's 9th president on Thurs., after winning a parliamentary vote earlier this week amid massive protests against him. [3]
    • The former PM succeeds the also deeply unpopular Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled Sri Lanka and then resigned following civil unrest in response to the country's severe economic and political crisis. [4]
    • Following Friday's crackdown, Dinesh Gunawardena, another Rajapaksa ally, was sworn in as the island nation's new PM, while the rest of the cabinet was expected to be sworn in later in the day. [5]
    • The US and the UN have voiced their deep concern over the current events, suggesting these actions could destabilize Sri Lanka even more and urging for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout. [6]
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    Establishment-critical narrative

    Sri Lankans are fed up with a system of corruption and the abuse of power continually carried out by an entrenched political elite. As a servant of US imperialism and the IMF, Wickremesinghe is yet another member of the political classes to have worked against the public's interests. It's not enough to simply replace the country's political leadership in undemocratic elections - all 225 MPs should vacate their posts to allow for a genuine new beginning.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    It's too short-sighted to hold Sri Lanka's political system solely responsible for the country's economic catastrophe. The situation in Sri Lanka is indicative of global turmoil that is becoming more widespread as a result of the food, fuel, and financial crisis triggered by COVID and now the Ukraine war. Financial institutions like the IMF can and should play a positive role in an international strategy to help resolve the situation across the world.

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