What’s behind the economic implosion in Sri Lanka? | News

As Sri Lanka faces its worst economic crisis since independence in 1948, the blame has fallen at the feet of one man: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, known to many as Gota.

As the Guardian’s south Asia correspondent Hannah Ellis-Peterson tells Michael Safi, Rajapaksa was elected in 2019 amid nationalistic fervour and a wave of support from the country’s Sinhalese Buddhist majority. But over the past three years, under his watch – and what many are calling “criminal financial mismanagement” – the economy has gone into freefall.

Now, after the resignation of his cabinet and a request for a bailout from the International Monetary Fund, Rajapaska is clinging to power. His disparate opponents are united like never before, and Sri Lankans are more determined than ever not just to eject Rajapaksa from power but to replace the ruling political class entirely.

Protests in Colombo, Sri Lanka: Photograph: Pradeep Dambarage/NurPhoto/Rex/Shutterstock

Photograph: Pradeep Dambarage/NurPhoto/REX/Shutterstock

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