April 7, 2022

COAL MINE, MEET CANARY: Sri Lanka facing imminent threat of starvation, senior politician warns.

Sri Lanka is facing the imminent threat of starvation for its population of 22 million as the economic crisis in the country continues to worsen and food becomes increasingly scarce, a senior politician has warned.

Speaking in a debate in parliament, held against the backdrop of the worst financial crisis to hit the country since independence – and with anti-government protests spreading across the country – the speaker of the parliament, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana, warned that this was “just the beginning”.

“The food, gas and electricity shortages will get worse. There will be very acute food shortages and starvation,” Abeywardana told the legislature.

The economic meltdown in Sri Lanka spiralled on Wednesday as the Sri Lankan rupee plunged to become the world’s worst-performing currency. Sovereign dollar bonds dropped to trade at deeply distressed levels, while the stock market fell a further 2%.

Over the past few months, Sri Lanka has been facing a dire financial crisis on multiple fronts, triggered partially by the impact of Covid-19, which battered the economy, as well as mounting foreign debts, rising inflation and economic mismanagement by the government, led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The country barely has any foreign currency reserves left, leading to dangerous shortages of food, gas and medicines as it is unable to import foreign goods, while people are enduring power blackouts of up to eight hours a day. The situation has pushed thousands out onto the streets in protest in recent days, calling for the resignation of the president.

Flashback: In Sri Lanka, Organic Farming Went Catastrophically Wrong.

Faced with a deepening economic and humanitarian crisis, Sri Lanka called off an ill-conceived national experiment in organic agriculture this winter. Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa promised in his 2019 election campaign to transition the country’s farmers to organic agriculture over a period of 10 years. Last April, Rajapaksa’s government made good on that promise, imposing a nationwide ban on the importation and use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and ordering the country’s 2 million farmers to go organic.

The result was brutal and swift. Against claims that organic methods can produce comparable yields to conventional farming, domestic rice production fell 20 percent in just the first six months. Sri Lanka, long self-sufficient in rice production, has been forced to import $450 million worth of rice even as domestic prices for this staple of the national diet surged by around 50 percent. The ban also devastated the nation’s tea crop, its primary export and source of foreign exchange.

Get woke, go broke.

Related: Looming food shortages the next ‘slow-moving disaster’ to hit world .

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.