Sri Lankan Economic Crisis: Lessons for the region

Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS) has recently organized a lecture on “Sri Lankan Economic Crisis: Lessons for the region” at Hotel Lake Castle. The honorable guest speaker, Rehana Thowfeek, is a distinguished economist and Director of Civic Education at Arutha which is an economic policy think tank in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She presented insightful findings from the crisis, what led to the crisis, what were the implications and what can be learnt from the crisis. The moderator of the discussion was Major General ANM Muniruzzaman, ndc, psc, (retd), President, BIPSS. Former ambassadors, representatives from different organizations have attended the program.

The speaker assured the recovering of Sri Lanka from the crisis with a gradual pace. She introduced the key factors that led to the crisis. Easter Bombing, Covid-19, structural difficulties struck the tourism-oriented country with a devious blow to its economy. Increasing prices, bulging external debt, faulty policies, corruption resulted altogether in revolt against the government. Despite all the discrepancies, with the help of IMF’s bailout package, Sri Lanka’s economy started keeping up the pace. She also recommended some insightful learnings for other regional countries in case of such an economic crisis. It was an all-round discussion that ended in fruitful learnings and perceptions.

During the interactive session, more nuanced discussion took place regarding the role of media, think tanks, civil societies, how the bridge between think tanks and policy makers can be made, and how civic education on economic policies can deter such crises. Moreover, focus on governance was placed accordingly to come out of any crises.

Sri Lankan Economic Crisis: Lessons for the region

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