When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Enjoy unlimited access to quality journalism.

Limited time offer

Get your 30-day free trial!

TOPIC: sri lanka

Society

The First Victims Of Sri Lanka's Economic Crisis: Pregnant Women

The country's worst economic crisis in decades has toppled the government and led to soaring prices. Pregnant women struggle to access essential supplies.

INUVIL, SRI LANKA — At sunset, as her young son plays nearby and her husband has yet to return from work, Kirushna Sutharshan forages for edible plants near her home.

She bends carefully over her expanding belly — her second child is due in August — but ignores the discomfort. The prices of milk, eggs, spinach and other foods recommended for healthy pregnancies have tripled since January; the once-free iron supplements are no longer available at prenatal checkups at public hospitals; and she cannot afford vitamins at private pharmacies. Even Thriposha, a corn-based nutritional supplement usually distributed to pregnant women for free, is no longer available.

Watch Video Show less

Not My Problem: Individual Responsibility And Government Abuse Of Asylum Seekers

Denial and indifference drive the way ordinary Australians face the mistreatment of refugees.

-OpEd-

As one of its first acts in government, the newly elected Labor government turned back a boat of Sri Lankan asylum seekers trying to enter Australia.

Labor has vowed to continue Operation Sovereign Borders, including boat turnbacks and offshore detention. This is concerning. Not only do turnbacks violate international law, but offshore detention has resulted in torture and cruel and inhuman treatment of refugees.

Even more concerning is the lack of criticism Labor has received for continuing offshore detention and turnbacks. Apart from being condemned by human rights groups and minor political parties, Labor’s refugee policies appear to have gone without much comment from a large part of the Australian public.

As I found in my new research paper, the Australian government has used three forms of denial, creating physical and psychological distance between itself and refugees.

Keep reading... Show less

Sri Lanka: How Protecting The Environment Is Killing Agriculture

When Sri Lanka banned agrochemicals last year, the law’s impact on the island’s ability to feed itself was immediately evident. As political upheaval continues in the capital, here's a related back story in the countryside with global implications.

CHEDDIKULAM, SRI LANKA — Sellan Yogarasa returned to Sri Lanka in 2014, after more than two decades of exile in India. He leased nine acres of agricultural land and began growing rice, a staple food for the island’s 22 million inhabitants. A harvest typically yielded about 288 bags of paddy, each weighing 25 kilograms (55 pounds), enough for a decent livelihood. But overnight this calculus crumbled for Sellan — and for many others in the Sri Lankan labor force, over a third of whom are involved in the paddy sector.

In May 2021, the government banned agrochemicals, with the professed aim of becoming the world’s first country free of chemical fertilizer. A year on, as the country reaps the consequences of that decision — while also grappling with a broader economic crisis that has led to warnings of an impending food shortage and set off the past month of political upheaval.

Keep reading... Show less

Google Blocked In Part Of Ukraine, New Indian Head Of State, Neutron Stars

👋 Ola!*

Welcome to Friday, where Google is blocked by pro-Russian separatists, a Rio favela suffers one of its most deadly police raids, and India has a new president. Meanwhile, El Espectador’s María Mónica Monsalve reports on the delicate environmental question of mining extraction in Colombia, which aims at joining the minerals boom that will accompany the global energy transition.

[*Aragonese, Spain]

Keep reading... Show less
Geopolitics
Devaka Gunawardena and Ahilan Kadirgamar*

The Dangers Of Ranil Wickremesinghe's Sudden Power Grab In Sri Lanka

As Sri Lanka looks to choose a new leader, the country's acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe is already behaving like an autocrat. Only by listening to the goals of the people's movement can the country be rescued from ruin.

Sri Lankans rose in unison to oust Gotabaya Rajapaksa as president as the country faces its worst-ever economic crisis and shortages of basics such as food, medicine and fuel. Foreign exchange reserves are empty and the island nation has been forced to hold bailout talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Protests started in the capital, Colombo, in April before spreading across the country.

Despite his destruction of the economy, which led to Sri Lanka’s unprecedented collapse, Rajapaksa proved difficult to dislodge. He clung on to power thanks to the excessive concentration of power in the executive presidency. Nevertheless, the people’s movement brought together protestors from all walks of life to demand his resignation.

Watch Video Show less
In The News
Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet, McKenna Johnson and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Europe’s Heatwave, Ukrainian Officials Ousted, Bennifer’s Wedding

👋 Servus!*

Welcome to Monday, where Volodymyr Zelensky pushes out two top Ukrainian security officials, Europe battles heatwaves and wildfires and Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez tie the knot in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, we look at how a delivery startup has switched its sights from Asia to Latin America.

[*Bavarian, Germany and Austria]

Watch Video Show less
In The News

Sri Lanka, Bulgaria, The UK, Italy… The Many Ways A Government Can Fall

July 16-17

  • Russia’s empty fridges
  • China’s crackdown on livestreamers
  • Time to ground low-cost planes?
  • … and much more.
Watch Video Show less
In The News
Lila Paulou, McKenna Johnson, Bertrand Hauger and Lisa Berdet.

“Terrorist” Russia, Italy’s Imbroglio, Ivana Trump Dies

👋 אַ גוטן טאָג!*

Welcome to Friday, where Zelensky asks for the world to brand Russia a “terrorist state,” Italian politics spiral into chaos, and Donald Trump’s first wife Ivana dies at age 73. Meanwhile, we offer the latest edition of our LGBTQ+ International roundup, this week featuring Brazilian soccer, Japanese politics and good news from the UN.

[*A gutn tog - Yiddish]

Watch Video Show less
In The News
Bertrand Hauger

Russia Strikes More Civilian Targets, Estonia Prime Minister Resigns, Nintendo Pictures

👋 Merhaba!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Russia keeps shelling non-military targets across Ukraine, Estonia’s prime minister resigns to form a new government and Nintendo eyes the big screen. Meanwhile, Serhiy Haidai (President Zelensky's chief adviser on the Donbas) tells Ukrainian daily Livy Bereg why the Ukrainian military was forced to retreat from key positions.

[*Turkish]

Watch Video Show less
In The News
Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Joel Silvestri

Donetsk Death Toll Rises, Shinzo Abe Funeral, Jane Goo-doll

👋 Добрий день*

Welcome to Tuesday, where the death toll in Chasiv Yar, in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, rises to 34, Japan pays its last homage to Shinzo Abe and Barbie unveils a new doll in honor of UK primatologist Jane Goodall. Meanwhile, independent multimedia platform el Toque shines a light on the blackouts testing Cubans' patience.

[*Dobriy den - Ukrainian]

Watch Video Show less
In The News
McKenna Johnson, Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Joel Silvestri

Retaking Kherson, Sri Lanka President Resigns, Djokovic 007

👋 Goeie!*

Welcome to Monday, where Ukraine plans a counteroffensive in the South, Sri Lanka’s president resigns after protesters stormed the presidential palace on Sunday and there’ll soon be 8 billion of us on Earth. Meanwhile, The Conversation sees Shinzo Abe’s assassination as the continuation of Japan’s history of political violence.

[*Frisian - The Netherlands and Germany]

Watch Video Show less
Economy
Lila Paulou and McKenna Johnson

Food Shortages Around The World, Product By Product

The war in Ukraine and the climate crisis have been devastating for food production. Here's a look at some of the traditional foods from around the world that might be hard to find on supermarket shelves.

The consequences of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia have been far-reaching. A Russian blockade of the Black Sea has meant Ukraine, known as “Europe’s breadbasket,” has been unable to export much of its huge harvests of wheat, barley and sunflower oil.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

So even those thousands of miles from the battlefields have been hit by the soaring prices of basic necessities.

Watch Video Show less