Sri Lanka came to a halt early this month as the government announced that it does not have enough fuel or any money available for imports. All private vehicles are banned and schools were closed. Workers were asked to work from home. Prices of all essential food continue to rise. Food inflation has gone over 80% and continues to increase. According to some reports, the real inflation rate has now gone well over 130%, the second-highest in the world. The government continues to rely on handouts from regional countries for essentials. No clear estimation has been done in terms of the impact. But the lack of food, fuel and a future has plunged almost the entire population into desolation. According to the World Food Programme, almost a quarter of the population is “food insecure”.
The current government continues to preach to the population that misery is unavoidable and has asked them to tolerate it. The prime minister warned that the “crisis will get worse”. One MP even asked the population to prepare to eat one meal a day. The opposition leader says Sri Lanka “must accept extreme austerity”.