Usurious ‘Rules-Based Order’ Is Murdering Sri Lanka
May 5, 2022 (EIRNS)—Sri Lanka has less than $50 million in usable foreign currency reserves left, Finance Minister Ali Sabry told the nation’s parliament on May 4. Less than $50 million with which to import medicines, foods, fuel, and cooking gas, already in acute scarcity, for 22 million Sri Lankans. This, he said, is the worst economic crisis the island nation has faced since gaining independence from the British Empire in 1948.
Children will die. Having no funds, the government has cut the budget for free school meals by two-thirds, enough for only one school term, at most. According to Save the Children, 1 million children—one in four students in the country—rely on free school meals to eat. And increasingly so, as the cost of such basic food items as rice and oil have skyrocketed by 195% over the past month alone, forcing many schools to already stop serving meals, at the same time.
Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera told parliament today that the country needs 4,000 metric tons of diesel per day, but the public Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is currently able to only release 1,000 to 1,500 metric tons a day. The country has already been suffering hours of power cuts daily since February, because of a diesel shortage.
While the West finds hundreds of billions of dollars to finance weapons production, there is no money to be found to aid Sri Lankans to eat in their hour of need. The International Monetary Fund refuses to grant an emergency loan or reschedule Sri Lanka’s debts, until the government imposes a greater austerity program! World Bank President David Malpass refused a loan, on the grounds that Sri Lanka might try to use the funds to pay debts to China—to which it owes much less money, it must be noted, than what it owes the international financiers who run the World Bank. Sri Lanka’s Asian neighbors have been helping, with aid being sent by its neighbors India and China, in particular.