Sri Lanka Among Global Trouble Spots

Sri Lanka Among Global Trouble Spots

Sri Lanka has been named among the five global trouble spots that need to be watched in 2024.

Jonathan Este, International Affairs Editor of The Conversation, points out that Sri Lanka has regained a degree of normalcy after a debilitating economic crisis in 2022. However, widespread dissatisfaction with political elites and the underlying drivers of the country’s economic hardship have not been addressed.

Sri Lanka is facing a severe economic crisis, with high inflation, currency depreciation, and debt concerns. This could lead to social unrest and protests, particularly if living standards continue to decline, said Jonathan Este.

Three critical factors that could trigger turmoil and instability have been identified by a Sri Lankan analyst who spoke to Lanka Newsline:

Political instability: The government faces public dissatisfaction and internal pressures, potentially leading to political fragmentation or turmoil. This could impede reforms and hinder stability.
Ethnic tensions: While the civil war ended in 2009, underlying grievances and a lack of progress on reconciliation may fuel tensions between the Sinhalese and Tamil communities.

Environmental challenges: Climate change and resource scarcity pose environmental challenges like droughts and floods, which could contribute to tensions and displacement.

Elections are also due in Sri Lanka by late 2024. While Wickremesinghe, the incumbent, is likely to run for a second term, he has low trust with the public. He is viewed as too close to corrupt political elites, commented Jonathan Este.

Jonathan Este has identified Myanmar, Mali, Lebanon, and Pakistan as other trouble spots where civil conflicts or unrest could worsen and potentially lead to violence.

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