Sri Lanka Crisis: The Long Shadow of Neocolonialism

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2024-68-3-79-89
A. Kupriyanov,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

Received 07.08.2023. Revised 24.11.2023. Accepted 29.12.2023.

Abstract. The article is devoted to the study of the causes of the economic and political crisis in Sri Lanka (2019 – present) through the prism of the complex approach based on the post-colonial research paradigm. The author considers the three most affected sectors of the economy of Sri Lanka: agriculture, the textile and apparel industry and tourism. All of them in their present form are products of the modern era, formed under the influence of colonial and neo-colonial practices and provided Sri Lanka with a specific place in the world economic system as a producer of plantation crops (primarily tea), textiles of the upper price segment and tourism services, focused on the EU and the US population. During the pandemic, the orientation on the Western market, aggravated by the voluntaristic actions of the country’s leading the Rajapaksa clan, led to the collapse of key sectors of the Sri Lankan economy. Particular attention is paid to the agrarian sector. The author believes that the current disparities in the agrarian development of Sri Lanka are the result of the colonial past. The issue of mending these imbalances was politicized during the civil war (1983–2009), and as a way out, the concept of developing organic farming, itself a product of Western cultural hegemony, was proposed. The author notes that instead of admitting partial responsibility for the crisis, the Western media are inclined to blame China for Sri Lanka’s problems. The PRC is believed to have deliberately driven the island into a debt trap. It is assumed that developing countries should solve the problems of Sri Lanka, while it is clear that Western countries will derive the main benefit from the recovery of its economy and return to world production chains.

Keywords: Sri Lanka, colonialism, neo-colonialism, agriculture, textiles, tourism, crisis


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For citation:
Kupriyanov A. Sri Lanka Crisis: The Long Shadow of Neocolonialism. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2024, vol. 68, no. 3, pp. 79-89. EDN: XVMWZI

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