From political economy

Sri Lanka’s IMF Agreement Will Not Alter the Trajectory of a Collapsing Economy

Ahilan Kadirgamar, Devaka Gunawardena and Sinthuja Sritharan Without a major course correction in its economic trajectory and a significant “haircut” on its external debt, the country will likely be knocking on the door for another IMF pact. It could face another default in a few years. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) executive board’s approval of loans is…


Some Heretical Thoughts on Economic Development – G.V. S de Silva

G. V. S De Silva had been the private secretary to Philip Gunawardena, Minister of Agriculture in the MEP government in 1956, and had been largely responsibile for the agricultural plan published by that ministry in 1957. He drafted the Paddy Bill which was brought to protect the rights of sharecropping and tenant farmers. Since…


A Budget that Devastates the Economy – A talk given by Ahilan Kadirgamar

According to the World Bank the Sri Lankan economy is going to contract by 9.2% in 2022 and a further 4.2% in 2023. This is what we call an economic depression. Given the Budget that was just announced, I argue we are going to see an even larger contraction next year. What does this contraction mean? It means people are losing their income streams, with unemployment on the rise and livelihoods disrupted. A food crisis linked to the crippling of the economy is leading to increased malnourishment and starvation. We are going to lose a generation, as our children’s education and wellbeing are affected.


A revolt that could turn into a revolution

Ahilan Kadirgamar Courtesy The Hindu Without a new social contract, there could be unrestrained conflict with the working people in Sri Lanka The great revolt of the masses has overthrown an authoritarian president in Sri Lanka, but it has not abolished the executive presidency. Indeed, on July 18, within days of assuming office as acting…


Sri Lanka battles political and economic challenges

Last month’s mass demonstrations in Sri Lanka have sent warning signs to the rest of the world. This as several middle-income and developing countries are dealing with similar problems of political dysfunction and the impact from external economic shocks. Sri Lanka has a higher GDP than Peru, Egypt and South Africa, yet it’s devolved into…