Original: housha source wechat official account: housha has been authorized to reprint
In May, I wrote about the social crisis in Sri Lanka, a South Asian island country. At that time, I thought Sri Lanka was only one step away from bankruptcy. Now it is really bankrupt, and the social situation is more tragic. The president and the prime minister have announced their resignation. President Rajapaksa has fled the capital Colombo by helicopter.
The presidential residence was occupied by protesters yesterday, the prime minister’s office was set ablaze, and Sri Lanka’s speaker of Parliament Mahinda took over power and became interim president.
However, in addition to reaching an agreement on the resignation of the president and the prime minister, the leaders of all political parties are still full of contradictions. In the face of national bankruptcy for more than a month, they have not even achieved the most basic political unity.
The people are suffering from a shortage of food, electricity and oil, and they can’t even buy toilet paper. Social order has collapsed, and everyone is constantly rushing to the capital.
On June 23, the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, viklemasinha, who had just taken office, announced in parliament that the country’s economy had collapsed.
In other words, the “self-help” operation that began in April ended in failure. This means that even if the current US $51billion foreign debt is not repaid, Sri Lanka’s finance cannot be maintained, and the currency will become waste paper.
The minimum requirement of Sri Lankan people now is that the government can guarantee the supply of food, electricity and gasoline.
However, even the method of issuing “emergency distribution vouchers” can not solve the problem, because these necessary materials for life are seriously insufficient. How to distribute them?
When Sri Lanka was in chaos, one country was gearing up, India, which called itself Sri Lanka’s “closest friend”.
Indian netizens even said on Twitter: now is the best time for India and Sri Lanka to merge (Annex).
India’s intention to annex Sri Lanka is not just a folk idea, but an official inconvenience.
As early as 1945, before India became independent, Nehru, the leader of the Congress party, publicly regarded Ceylon (Sri Lanka) as a part of India, because India had the right to inherit the British colony in South Asia.
In 1974, the chief of staff of the Indian Navy made it more explicit: “Sri Lanka is as important to India as Northern Ireland is to Britain and Taiwan is to China. India will never tolerate the domination of Sri Lanka by hostile powers, thereby threatening India’s territorial integrity.”
Such crazy words can be said, which shows how ambitious India is towards Sri Lanka, a country that has been independent since 1948.
India’s “minimum goal” is to “independence” the northeast corner of Sri Lanka.
This time Sri Lanka’s economy collapsed, India’s performance was very eye-catching.
In June, with Sri Lanka’s repeated help, China was ready to provide 500million yuan of emergency assistance to Sri Lanka, with 10000 tons of rice. By the end of June, 1000 tons of rice had been transported; The United States will provide $120million in assistance; Russia will have 90000 tons of oil aid (preferential price); India will provide us $4billion in concessional loans (plus previous loans).
The IMF (International Monetary Fund) is also required to provide the most powerful rescue funds.
However, it is reasonable for India to be so positive. What it thinks of others in its heart is what it does. The $4billion loan is not so simple. India has to attach a lot of political conditions to “deepen” the relationship between the two countries.
How strong is India’s sense of presence in Sri Lanka? Take oil, the most urgent demand at present.
The only private oil company operating retail gas stations in Sri Lanka is the subsidiary of Indian oil company, Lanka Indian oil company.
Previously, they stopped providing gasoline and diesel to gas stations, causing many people in major cities in Sri Lanka to have no oil to add, and even the public transport system to be paralyzed, and people’s emotions continue to get out of control.
The Sri Lankan government dare not forcibly take over the Ranka India oil company, so that most of the fuel people need for travel is controlled by Indians.
Until yesterday, lanca India oil company agreed to resume the 24-hour service of gas stations in some cities of Sri Lanka, but it is currently limited to the eastern island of Trincomalee.
From the fact that the operation of commercial gas stations is monopolized by Indians, it can be seen that Sri Lanka has not evaluated the consequences of introducing investment in livelihood industries. In times of crisis, it is difficult for the government to require these enterprises related to people’s livelihood to continue to serve the society.
In terms of food production, Sri Lanka is a large agricultural country, and sufficient food production is a key area that the government must ensure. However, since 2020, the Rajapaksa government has vigorously promoted the so-called “organic farming”, refused to use fertilizers and pesticides, and wanted to play the “green card” to improve export earnings.
The so-called “green agricultural revolution” was carried out last year, but the result was that money was not earned. It also led to a 20% decline in rice production, which has now fallen by 50%. The output of the main agricultural cash crop “Ceylon black tea” is also declining.
By April this year, the food inflation rate in Sri Lanka had reached 57.4%, and hundreds of thousands of families were unable to buy food.
Unfortunately, after the outbreak of the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the world’s major grain producing countries were restricting food exports, while the Sri Lankan government, which had previously guaranteed food supply through international trade, was helpless, and its finance could not afford the soaring food prices.
Sri Lanka only gave up the “green agricultural revolution” on May 31. Amaraweera, their minister of agriculture, called on farmers to grow more rice, and all people, including civil servants, should go to the fields to grow rice.
At this time, I wanted to squeeze 600 million dollars to import chemical fertilizer, but chemical fertilizer was also tight. It was expected that by the end of the year, Sri Lanka’s grain output would be less than 50% of that of previous years.
On July 8, the report “crop prospects and food situation” released by the food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations showed that Sri Lanka and Ukraine were included in the list of countries in need of foreign food aid.
What a stupid policy is it that a country that lives on agriculture has become a food crisis country?
But behind this is not just the stupidity of the Sri Lankan government, but a corrupt network in close collaboration with grain dealers. Some parliamentarians have been political lobbyists for grain traders for a long time, and many of them are Indian partners.
The so-called “green card” has led to soaring food prices, and the only benefits are grain traders and corrupt politicians. Even Agence France Presse said: I hope Sri Lankan dealers will not make huge profits without conscience.
But is it possible? The price of grain in the black market will wake them up in their dreams.
The food crisis has also led to a shortage of milk and all kinds of dairy products, wheat, sugar, vegetables and fruits and other basic foods. 10000 tons of grain for China’s assistance this time is designated for primary and secondary school students.
In May, India provided humanitarian assistance of 2billion rupees (about 37.6 million yuan) of milk powder, rice and medicine, as well as a US $1billion credit line.
But these cannot solve the country’s appalling economic crisis. Who can save you if the country goes bankrupt?
51billion dollars of foreign debt, is it much? ZELINSKY asked the West for assistance, which could easily reach tens of billions, hundreds of billions of dollars.
Among Sri Lanka’s debt, China only accounts for about $5billion, and more than 80% of its external debt comes from the IMF of the United States, Japan, the Asian Development Fund (led by Japan) and India, but they accuse China of creating a “debt trap”, which is really embarrassing.
Originally, Sri Lanka, with its unique geographical location, as long as it develops in a down-to-earth manner, don’t listen to the nonsense of “western economic adviser” and “Indian economic adviser”, and do a good job in infrastructure construction first, but Sri Lanka is afraid of being described by the West as an “undemocratic country”.
On December 9, 2017, the Sri Lankan government will officially transfer the operation and management right of Hambantota port in the south to China Merchants Group for a period of 99 years. This is an important turning point in its economic development, and China has the ability to build Hankou into another “Shekou”.
With a population of about 500000, it is about 240 kilometers away from Colombo, the capital, and only 10 nautical miles away from the world’s busiest Far East European main route. It is Sri Lankans’ dream to build this deep-water port into a world-class port.
Under the pressure of India, Sri Lanka rented Matara airport, 25 kilometers away from Hambantota, to India. After India invested US $210million to build this airport, the average number of flights a day was only 12, with 40 years of operation rights, and the loss of pants.
But India is willing, because it can monitor every move of China when building ports nearby (for fear of being militarized)
Indian intelligence agencies believe that China will obtain a semi permanent presence in Sri Lankan ports.
Joke, how can China exist semi permanently? China will exist forever. China also does not regard India as its opponent in the Indian Ocean. The real external power in the region is the United States.
The United States believes that China is connecting the pearls scattered in the sea. Han port is a very dazzling one. It is not only an important trade transit station, but also a naval fortress.
Sri Lankan governments believed that they could travel between the United States, China and India to obtain the best interests.
But Sri Lanka did not realize that the United States and India wanted political and military influence on it, and only China focused on real economic cooperation.
At present, China’s help to Sri Lanka is limited, but China will never fall into a trap, and some countries are trying to profit from chaos.
Once Sri Lanka’s economy collapses, India’s ambition to annex you will rise again.
The tragedy in Sri Lanka just shows that what this country needs most is economic development and social stability. You can’t afford to play politics and military, and it’s also very dangerous. The farther away from the curry flavor black hand, the better.
I hope Sri Lanka can learn from the bitter experience that the price of wrong policies has been very heavy, and the only way out is to correct the practice of stepping on N boats.