Dr Dushni Weerakoon Discusses Economic Policy Priorities for Sri Lanka on BBC News’ Global Questions

14 January 2023

IPS’ Executive Director, Dr Dushni Weerakoon flagged that in the absence of significant systemic changes in the political and economic realms, a sense of frustration would lead to a repeat of what the country experienced early last year. She further noted that the momentum gained from such reforms could contribute to retaining Sri Lanka’s youth from migrating abroad in search of better economic opportunities. She made these remarks while participating in the ‘Sri Lanka: Rising Global Civil Unrest?’ episode of the Global Questions panel discussion telecast by BBC News.

Responding to the audience’s questions, Dr Weerakoon drew attention to the effect of rising food inflation on the continuation of welfare programmes for school children. She noted that while some of these welfare programs are funded by multilateral agencies, budgetary support is critical for their long-term expansion. She also emphasised that aligning with Asian countries benefits Sri Lanka’s economic interests in the long run, particularly in the country’s efforts to diversify into new export markets. The programme was moderated by  Zeinab Badawi. Hon. Ali Sabry, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Hon. Dr Harini Amarasuriya, Member of Parliament participated in the discussion.