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    Gotabaya Admits ‘Mistake’ A Year After Imposing Ban on Fertilisers

    GovernanceAccountabilityGotabaya Admits ‘Mistake’ A Year After Imposing Ban on...
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    Gotabaya Admits ‘Mistake’ A Year After Imposing Ban on Fertilisers

    With little opposition, the Rajapaksa family has ruled the island nation with an iron hand. Few dared to hold them accountable or question widespread cronyism. The President is being challenged on the streets of Sri Lanka today.

    After a long wait, Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has admitted that his people are suffering due to the current economic crisis.

    Importantly, Rajapaksa owed up to the ban on chemical fertilisers and the impact it had on the island nation’s farmers. He assured that measures were being taken to deliver chemical fertilizer to the farmers.

    President Rajapaksa announced a ban on the use of chemical fertilizer reportedly after his advisors cited Roman naturalist-philosopher-author Pliny the Elder as saying that ancient Sri Lankans had lived past the age of 100 years because of they practiced organic agriculture.

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    He admitted that the decision to make Sri Lankan agriculture fully organic was a hasty one that the government should not have taken. His advisors had urged for a ban on importing fertilizer to balance the foreign exchange situation.

    Policy mistakes

    In an acknowledgement of policy mistakes by his government, the President also said that Sri Lanka needed to approach the International Monetary Fund much earlier, given the situation in the country. The delay led to the dire economic crisis.

    Rajapaksa who made the admissions while speaking to members of his newly sworn in cabinet ministers, also acknowledged the suffering ordinary people have had to endure.

    “Over the past two and a half years we have had vast challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the debt burden and some mistakes on our part,” he is reported to have said.

    With very little opposition, the Rajapaksa family has ruled the island nation with an iron hand for almost two decades. Few have dared to hold them accountable or question a rule of widespread cronyism. But today, the President is being challenged on the streets of Sri Lanka.

     

    Image: Wikimedia

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