Sri Lanka: 5 Basic Facts About Country Hit By Crisis

Sri Lanka's economy is crumbling under the weight of massive foreign debt and steep inflation. President Gotabaya Rajpaksa has fled and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has imposed an emergency.

Sri Lanka: 5 Basic Facts About Country Hit By Crisis

Sri Lanka crisis: Protesters are blaming Rajapaksa family for the current situation.

Sri Lanka is hit by a crisis, with its economy crumbling under the weight of massive foreign debt and steep inflation. President Gotabaya Rajpaksa has fled and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has imposed an emergency.

Here are five basic facts about crisis-hit Sri Lanka

  1. The island nation lies in the Indian Ocean off southern India. It is separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Strait. Sri Lanka won independence from the British in 1948. Three ethnic groups - Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim - constitute 99 per cent of its 22 million population.

  2. The Rajapaksa family has dominated Sri Lanka's politics for decades. The current President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, oversaw a ruthless crushing of Tamil Tiger guerrillas to end a long-running civil war. His brother Mahinda has served in various capacities - as President, Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Leader of the Opposition.

  3. The President is the head of state, government and the military in Sri Lanka but does share a lot of executive responsibilities with the Prime Minister, who heads the ruling party in Parliament, according to the BBC.

  4. The largest city in Sri Lanka is its capital Colombo. Sinhala, Tamil and English are the major languages spoken here. The major exports are clothing and textiles, tea, gems, rubber, coconuts, while tourism brings in a lot of money.

  5. Now an economic crisis has led to fury on the streets. According to government data, price of everyday goods has risen sharply and inflation is more than 50 per cent. Long power cuts and lack of medicines has brought the health system to the verge of collapse. The protesters are blaming Mr Rajapaksa and his family for the current situation and want their ouster.



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