He added, "If even the middle class is struggling, imagine how much more disadvantaged groups are being hit." RTS8WEGD Photo Credit: Reuters / Dazhi Image Protests are on the rise Since April this year (2022), the protests in Sri Lanka have become more and more serious. Demonstrators accused President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his government of policy mistakes that led to the collapse of the economy and chaos. In May, a wave of violent protests forced Rajapaksa's brother and then-Prime Minister Rajapaksa to step down.
The new Prime Minister Wick Remisingh pinned his hopes on the International Monetary Fund's bailout plan and the help of friendly countries in India and China to ensure economic development. In an interview with The Associated Press last week, Wickremisingh said he was concerned that food shortages could continue into 2024 and that the war in Ukraine has disrupted raster to vector conversion global supply chains and sent prices of certain commodities soaring. Last year (2021), the Sri Lankan government banned the import of fertilizers, angering farmers and hurting harvests, compounding the economic woes. The ban was lifted a few months later, but the damage has already been done, leading to food shortages.
Suffering from insufficient food reserves, the government made civil servants stay at home every Friday to save fuel and have time to grow their own fruits and vegetables for three months. According to official data, the country's food inflation rate stands at 57%. According to a survey conducted by UNICEF in May, 70% of Sri Lankan households admitted to consuming less food. Residents of Colombo flocked to a vegetable market one recent afternoon, sweating under the scorching sun, carefully comparing the prices of tomatoes and oranges with those of the previous market.