You are invited to Southasia Peace Action Network, or Sapan’s next monthly webinar, ‘Rebuilding Sri Lanka: Reforms or Revolution?’, Sunday, October 2, 2022, to discuss the current situation in the island nation and repercussions for Southasia.
In 2022, Sri Lanka’s worst economic crisis in decades turned into a major political crisis triggering prolonged public protests that forced the resignations of the entire Cabinet of Ministers and Prime Minister, and drove the President to flee overseas. His policy blunders bankrupted the country which has suspended servicing its USD 50 billion foreign debt.
Macroeconomic mismanagement has depleted foreign reserves to the point where the new government struggles to import essentials even as citizens buckle under hyperinflation, mass unemployment and collapsing businesses. Beneath the gaze of international media, a humanitarian crisis now engulfs at least a third of Sri Lanka’s 22 million people.
How did Sri Lanka reach this point, and can the island nation rebound or rebuild until root causes of malgovernance are tackled – as the protesters had demanded? Can economic and political reforms succeed with much of the old political order still entrenched? What – short of revolution – are the options?
Sapan’s teach-in on Sri Lanka will feature an intergenerational conversation on these topics, with dynamic thought-leaders in Sri Lanka joined by senior journalists around the region.
This is the first of Sapan’s Country Focus series. The spotlight for our first event is on Sri Lanka.
Here is the event page on Facebook – please invite your friends and family to join too.
Title: Rebuilding Sri Lanka: Reforms or Revolution?
Date: Sunday, October 2, 2022
Time: 10 am EST, 7 pm PKT, 7:30 pm IST/SLST, 7:45 pm NPT, 8 pm BST
Event host: Namrata Sharma, Kathmandu-based journalist.
Siraj Khan, global finance and audit specialist, and connoisseur of Southasian art and culture, will present the Sapan founding charter.
Discussion moderator: Nalaka Gunawardene, science writer and media analyst, Colombo
- Amita Arudpragasam, policy advisor and research analyst
- Rehana Thowfeek, economist who has worked for leading think tanks
- Marlon Ariyasinghe, author and editor
Closing remarks: Nirupama Subramanian, senior journalist at The Indian Express who has covered Sri Lanka extensively
Senior journalist Namrata Sharma, editor of quarterly magazine Nariswor (women’s voice) in Kathmandu will host the event. An advocate of human rights with a focus on women’s human rights, she is a former president of Center for Investigative Journalism in Nepal.
Nalaka Gunawardene, award-winning journalist in Colombo who covers science, development and public health issues, will moderate the discussion.
Speakers include editor, policy advisor and researcher Amita Arudpragasam who has headed Research and Policy at the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms; Marlon Ariyasinghe; senior assistant editor of Himal Southasian and secretary of the Sri Lanka Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies; and economist Rehana Thowfeek who has worked for leading Sri Lankan think tanks.
Nirupama Subramanian, senior journalist at The Indian Express, who has long covered Sri Lanka , will deliver the closing remarks.
About Sapan: Launched in March 2021, the Southasia Peace Action Network, or Sapan, is a coalition of organisations and individuals calling for regional cooperation and freedom of movement in the region.
Sapan has conducted 14 events so far. These events have brought together activists, experts from across Southasia and the diaspora on a wide range of issues. Read more at the Events tab on our website.
STYLE NOTE: Following the lead of Himal Southasian, we use ‘Southasia’ as one word, “seeking to restore some of the historical unity of our common living space, without wishing any violence on the existing nation states”. Writing Sapan like this rather than all caps makes it a word which means ‘dream’.