When On 23rd of February, 2022, an oil tanker reached the port of Colombo for delivering 40 thousand fuel, bank of Ceylon found themselves unable to make its payment as the dollars were washed out of the national deposits. Finance minister was called, he told that we’ve only 2.30 billion dollars but not in the form of currency. The oil shipment was sent back and the favorite city of Buddha, could not buy fuel for it. Here all the drama and tragedy started and the world saw that in just 49 days, with the ticking of clock, Srilanka completely went bankrupt on 12th of April 2022.
Srilanka, the throne of Buddha
We’ve just heard about bankruptcy, but we’re not aware of its consequences and the turmoil it plots upon a nation. Having said that survival of the fittest, is the top most preferred theory in geopolitical survival and the modern day progress and in ground realities. In Srilanka, it saw that most of them used to say nothing will happen even if we went bankrupt. They were non serious and now the consequences are such that neither the civil society, nor the political think tanks not even their establishment finding it suitable to take the responsibility of all the drama and they’re also not able to improve it.
Srilanka needs 3 thousand megawatt electricity and it has the capacity of producing 4 thousand megawatt, but the rubble on the way is that 80% of the electricity is produced with the help thermal power plants which require fuel or petrol to run and Srilanka has no fuel. Paving the way for long term load shedding and the closure of Transport, schools, offices, factories, companies and the social life has been curbed so badly that the examination of students have been postponed because their institutions have no ink and enough paper to carry the process even their banks are unable to operate their routine and the overseas are unable to send money to their homes and tourism, due to the closure of flights is also off.
52% of Srilanka’s GDP comes off textile and garments and owing to no fuel and load shedding all the textile industries is close, tea covers 17% of GDP, precious stones, rubber, tourism, cooking material covers 31% of GDP. Though it is surrounded by waters from all side but there is no trade is happening right now and even the closure of flights has ceased the tourism along with the downfall of hotel and museum and visiting sites. They can’t use generators as they also require petrol.
Keeping all the political reasons aside, let’s have a look upon Srilanka’s bankruptcy. The literacy rate is 92%, they are disciplined, hygienic and soft natured people, they introduced liberal economy in 1970, which saw their rise in the region, their textile products became the brands in the world, and they have the Asia’s oldest library in the city of Galle, built by the people of Holland in 1832. A tooth piece of Buddha has been kept in Kandy where hundreds of thousand followers visit every year. They have vast source of ports to carry trade and tourism but In spite of all these things, they still went bankrupt.
They have plenty of degree holders but no technical education and opportunities led to the turmoil. They went on taking loans and a time came when the inflation of the foreign debts rose to 119% and thus Colombo had to take further loans to pay the existing loans. Their budget didn’t meet their expenses as almost 200+ institutions consuming 20% of their budget give nothing sufficient in return, kept on playing the role of big white elephants for their national reserves.
Srilanka’s bureaucracy’s control over their trade and business have a major role in bankruptcy. The war against Tamil tigers which started in 1983 till 2009 affected its stability a lot.
The prevailing of true democracy is also a true cause behind it, as the Rajapaksa family that has been holding the throne for last two decades as their children holding all the important positions in the civil and military establishment made their country bankrupt.
Warning to its neighbour.
Looking at the example of Srilanka, you should now understand that no nation in the world is a favorite of nature. We the Pakistanis, have been humiliated for decades, why? Because we are also reversing the system of nature, so remember that if Allah Almighty did not help 22 million srilankans, then there will be no unseen help for 220 million Pakistanis due to incompetence, cheapness and incompetence of government. Also remember we are only five months behind Srilanka and if we do not save ourselves in these five months, then we will be the next bankrupt nation after Srilanka.
© 2022 Muhammad Babar Taimoor