Sri Lanka’s historical and traditional glory has rightly been the pride of millions of Sri Lankans living in Sri Lanka and other countries, as well as expatriates. The fact that Sri Lanka has many followers of Buddhism, which advocates peace and non-violence, is another feather in its hat.
India-Sri Lanka relationship
India and Sri Lanka have traditionally had a strong relationship for historical reasons and a large part of Indians have always wanted Sri Lanka to prosper and grow stronger and stronger.
The fact that India tops the list for tourism in Sri Lanka is not surprising, as many Indians want to visit Sri Lanka at least once in their lifetime to see the historical monuments and enjoy the hospitality and of the natural beauty of Sri Lanka.
Under such circumstances, most Indians, just like Sri Lankans, are sad that Sri Lanka is in the news for the wrong reasons these days.
The recent declaration of a “food emergency” by the Sri Lankan government has shocked Sri Lankans, Indians and expatriates around the world, making them wonder if any fundamentally disruptive development has taken place in Sri Lanka in recent times. A declaration of food emergency in any country would inevitably have a bad image of the economic and social situation of the country.
Food production in Sri Lanka is said to have declined sharply in recent times as the Sri Lankan government has taken the decision to massively resort to organic farming in the agricultural field, which means the use of organic fertilizers and organic pesticides, replacing synthetic products. synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. This decision to go for large-scale organic cultivation in Sri Lanka, without adequate and long-term trials, was a calculated risk and certainly poorly reflects the decision-making capacity of the current Sri Lankan government.
The concept of organic farming is still evolving around the world and it is well known that the use of organic fertilizers instead of synthetic fertilizers like urea, ammonium phosphate, etc. results in low crop yield in agricultural operations. While organic agricultural products might be more environmentally friendly, the cost of organic farming is higher and therefore makes organic products more expensive. In addition, organic fertilizers are known to have a short shelf life and require proper handling, storage, packaging and transportation techniques. It is not clear whether farmers in Sri Lanka have been trained to handle and use organic fertilizers. Clearly, Sri Lankan administrators failed to take these much-needed precautionary factors into account.
Import of organic fertilizer from China
The Sri Lankan government imported large amounts of organic fertilizers from China, which proved ineffective when applied on agricultural land. The Sri Lankan government has been forced to pay a huge price to China for such inefficient organic fertilizer purchased from China, although Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange reserves are very low.
As agricultural production declined due to the use of organic fertilizers, the Sri Lankan government reacted instinctively and opted to import nanourea largely from India.
Nanourea is a product recently introduced as a fertilizer and even in India, where nanourea has been developed, is currently not used on a large scale and can be considered to be in the phase of introduction in India.
While there is no reason why nanourea would not be effective, it may nonetheless require application development efforts to evolve appropriate usage techniques.
It is not known why the Sri Lankan government did not choose to import synthetic urea instead of nanourea during this time of agricultural crisis.
Has an investigation been carried out?
It is not known whether the Sri Lankan government has ordered a full investigation into the whole episode and blamed for the unfortunate decision.
Over the years Sri Lanka has slowly and steadily plunged into serious economic trouble and now foreign exchange reserves have reached a precarious level. Sri Lanka now needs a huge loan and financial help from abroad to keep going.
There is no reason for the Sri Lankan economy to suffer so badly, given that Sri Lanka is a major exporter of tea, rubber, etc. and is a major destination for global tourists bringing millions of dollars to Sri Lanka.
The governance of Rajapaksa
While Sri Lanka has sort of shaken off the violent separatist movement by courageously fighting terrorist groups, it has not enjoyed such a victory so far.
Today Sri Lanka has become a country in debt with political planners and administrators blinded and not knowing the way out.
Mahinda Rajapaksa who covered himself with glory by defeating the separatist movement and protecting Sri Lanka’s sovereignty is now responsible for driving Sri Lanka to such a situation of economic distress.
Today Sri Lanka is under the rulership of the Rajapaksa family with a brother president, another brother prime minister and several family members in crucial positions in government and they have a lot to explain.
What exit for Sri Lanka?
How can the Sri Lankan government extricate itself from such desperate conditions?
One of the main reasons Sri Lanka fell into the debt trap is that Sri Lanka’s previous governments unwittingly placed Sri Lanka at the mercy of China, which has definite ambitions to expand its influence. in the world by righteous or rude means and to rule the world fully and completely. The Sri Lankan government fell into the trap of being tempted by China to take advantage of a huge loan on attractive terms and take advantage of China’s project cooperation that would only meet the long-term ambitions of the world domination of China. The Port of Hambantota is the perfect example.
It is now absolutely essential for Sri Lanka to extricate itself from China’s stranglehold in order to emerge from the current mess.
All in all, Sri Lanka is a democratic country with a free press and it must align itself with similar democratic countries, where there is a common interest and a shared value system.
Sri Lanka and China are not friends and Sri Lanka shares no value with the current Chinese government. It is well known that the Chinese government has a totalitarian view and that China is under the leadership of a coterie of so-called communist leaders, who do not respect the freedom of speech and personal freedom of citizens.
Sri Lanka should not follow the same path as the Pakistani government in almost reducing Pakistan to the status of a vast territory of China.
Sri Lanka has the potential to become a wealthy country like Singapore. For this to happen, Sri Lanka must choose its friends and allies with care, prudence and pragmatism.
Today Sri Lanka has no alternative but to cooperate with democratic countries like the United States, Western European countries and India, which have no interest in dominating Sri Lanka. . Of course, they would have economic interests, but it could be to mutual benefit.
Of course, Western countries, the United States and Canada have strongly criticized Sri Lanka for what they call a “human rights violation” by Sri Lanka while fighting the LTTE. In this regard, Western countries criticize Sri Lanka, it is like a pot calling the pot black. However, this annoying problem can be quickly sorted out across the table, with mutual goodwill being the approach.
Moving away from China and moving towards democratic countries by fostering relations will do Sri Lanka a lot of good by facilitating cooperation and technological investments. Establishing elegant relationships with Western countries that have no conflict of interest is the best strategy for Sri Lanka
The question is whether the current leadership of the Sri Lankan government has the strength of character and courage to reverse the current counterproductive relationship with China.