200 Dead, as Sri Lanka Literally Runs Out of Gas, Could This Happen Here?

Sri Lanka woke up and is now broke, with enough gasoline to last for “one single day.”

Ranil Wickremesinghe, the new President of the Democratic Socialist Republic, said Monday that “the Ministry of Finance” in the Democratic Socialist Republic is having difficulty raising $5 million to import natural gas.

People in Sri Lanka have taken to the streets. Of course, on foot.

Indian Ocean Island’s government has committed to organic farming 100% by 2021.

Can you guess what happened between the ban on agrochemicals, and 200 rioting Sri Lankans being killed in the streets by security officers?

This: Six months after the ban, rice production in Sri Lanka, once a very large industry, dropped 20 percent. Sri Lanka had to import $450 million of rice to meet its supply needs. Rice prices soared nearly 50 percent within six months.

To compensate for the loss of crop yields and barren harvests, Sri Lanka has agreed to pay farmers in the country 40,000 million rupees ($200million). The Sri Lankan government will also provide $149 million worth of price subsidies for rice farmers affected by the loss.

Taxpaying farmers, who were once self-sufficient, were made to pay the government — by the government.

Sri Lanka produces little more than rice, coffee, and tea.

This: Sri Lanka is on the brink of financial ruin and has stopped paying its foreign loans. The country’s economic woes have triggered a political crisis. There are protests by the government and a motion of no confidence in Parliament.

He said that the reserves fell to $3.1 billion at the end of 2021 and $1.9 billion at the end of March. Due to a shortage of foreign currency due to lower tourism and other revenue, the official reserves were used to purchase fuel, coal, and medicines starting in August 2021.

Wickremesinghe stated that “Although SLR 2.3 trillion was the budget projection for the former government, SLR 1.5 trillion is the realistic projection for this year’s revenue.”

It seems like the money of other people always runs out.

The country has to import everything, from gasoline to medicines. But President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s all-organic plan decimated the country’s tax revenues as well as the foreign currency reserves that it needed to purchase all these imports.

Protests began peacefully last week. Citizens dumped politicians’ cars into rivers.

Mahinda Rajapaksa was the previous prime minister. He resigned a week ago. That last name is correct: I just mentioned his brother, President, two paragraphs earlier.

Ruining Sri Lanka is a family business

It is difficult to overstate the importance of Rajapaksa’s clan in all of this. His brother Mahinda was appointed Prime Minister by Gotabaya after he won the November 2019 presidential election. This pairing is familiar. Mahinda Rajapaksa was first elected to power as the Prime Minister, then as President in 2004. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, at the time Defence Minister, was well-known for his involvement in the 2009 operation to end the civil war with Tamil rebels. Thousands were killed or disappeared due to allegations of torture, sexual assault, extra-judicial killings, as well as the abduction and murder of journalists, Tamil separatists, and other opposition figures. Gotabaya Rajapaksa refutes all of these allegations.

The Rajapaksa clan must lose big if they are to win any elections.

Instead of throwing out the junkies, Sri Lankans throw cars into rivers and attack those who brought them to this mess.

They have no other options.

With gas and food prices surging and baby formula scarce on store shelves, I’m just thankful we don’t have to wait any later the November for a chance to throw out our bastards.