ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Reading ‘India Way’ in the Neighbourhood First Policy

India’s Neighbourhood First Policy is guided by ideas of moral exceptionalism rooted in particular ci­vilisational framings, but is not without strategic pragma­tism, and the case of Sri Lanka is a case in point.


Aragalaya Movement

Between April and July 2022, there emerged in southern Sri Lanka an unprecedented political uprising in the modern history of the country—the Aragalaya movement. It brought together a new alliance of forces against the government, uniting all forms of communities from multiple ideologies, the mass movements of youth from the left and the right, lawyers, trade unions, and women’s and religious groups. This article is an exploration of the contingent efficacy of the politics of this movement, both the possibilities it enabled and the limits that circumscribed it.

IMF—Doubling the Dose of Austerity

Evidence from Ghana and reports from Sri Lanka indicate that the International Monetary Fund has introduced a new condition—reduction through the restructuring of domestic sovereign debt—into its adjustment toolkit for countries facing external debt stress. This tendency to blur the distinction between domestic and external debt has major implications, and amounts to imposing measures that enforce a new and additional form of debilitating austerity on these countries.

Negotiating Ethical Codes on the Factory Floors

Garments without Guilt? Global Labour Justice and Ethical Codes in Sri Lankan Apparels by Kanchana N Ruwanpura, Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, New Delhi and Singapore: Cambridge University Press, 2022; pp xxvi + 198, $99 (hardback).

The Unravelling of the Global Political Economy and Sri Lanka’s IMF Solution

Sri Lanka faces an uncertain path to obtaining bailout funding from the International Monetary Fund, while the existing terms of the agreement itself will exacerbate the ongoing economic crisis. Moreover, Sri Lanka’s difficulty in securing the consent of bilateral and private creditors amid great power rivalry reflects the unravelling of the global order. Is there an alternative to austerity in this conjuncture, including possibilities for self-sufficiency?

The Aragalaya versus Struggles

The impact and relevance of protests demanding President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation, referred to as the aragalaya, need to be scrutinised with respect to the issues related to the ethnic conflict, the truth and justice demands of the Tamil community and post-war state action, such as militarisation, which exacerbated the discrimination and violence suffered by the Tamils.

The Sri Lankan Crisis

Many have argued that the current Sri Lankan crisis was caused by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war, and the country’s overdependence on predatory Chinese lending. Sri Lanka’s problems are more deep-rooted and have their origins in economic policy that focused on providing fi scal sops and a family-run political establishment that enabled the government to ignore sound advice.

Authoritarian Populism, Illiberal Democracy and the Making of an Economic Crisis

The authoritarian populist tendencies of an excessive personalisation of power, curtailment of civil liberties, circumvention of the rule of law, and increasing militarisation of state apparatus have exacerbated Sri Lanka’s lurch towards illiberal democracy, thereby precipitating the grave economic and humanitarian crises.


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