Inside Story

Does Sri Lanka need major reforms to tackle its economic crisis?

Sri Lanka’s government declared an economic emergency to deal with foodstuff shortages and to contain soaring inflation.

Everyday life for people in Sri Lanka has become a major challenge.

Essentials like food, medicine and fuel are much more expensive – and that is, if they are even available.

The COVID-19 pandemic and a recession are being blamed, while a dramatic fall in the value of the Sri Lankan rupee is making things worse.

The island nation depends largely on imports for its food, and a weaker currency means they are now costlier.

The government has announced an economic emergency in a bid to ease the burden for millions of families.

The measure has empowered authorities to seize stocks of staple foods and set their prices amid the forex crisis.

Is the opposition right in calling the emergency measures drastic and an attack on human rights? And does Sri Lanka need major reforms to overcome the problems?

Presenter: Nastasya Tay


Nivard Cabraal – Sri Lanka’s junior minister of money, capital markets and state enterprise reforms

Harsha de Silva – Opposition MP and former Sri Lankan minister

Nishan de Mel – Economist and director of Verite Research