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Club Online Zoom Event: Sri Lanka In Crisis

Date: 1 Jun 2022 08:00 PM | Venue:

Sri Lanka In Crisis
Wednesday, June 1, 2022
8pm HKT on Zoom
Sri Lanka is currently in the grip of its worst economic crisis since independence from Britain in 1948. The country has defaulted on its debt for the first time in its history, and is facing critical shortages of food, fuel and medicines. The economic collapse has birthed political upheaval – for months, anti-government protesters have railed against record inflation and lengthy blackouts, camping outside President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s office to demand his resignation. In May those simmering tensions spilled over into violence, in which at least nine people were killed. An “all-party government” is now in place – but the new prime minister has said the next couple of months will be the most difficult of all. How will Sri Lanka navigate this next period? How did it get to crisis point in the first place? And what will the knock-on effects be, not just for the region, but for the world? Moderated by FCC Correspondent Member Governor Rebecca Bailey.
Panelists include:
Amal Jayasinghe heads AFP operations in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. He joined the agency in August 1987 after working for over five years as a reporter for Sri Lanka’s main English-language newspaper, the Daily News. He has been on special reporting assignments for AFP in war-torn areas of the world, including Afghanistan and Iraq. The 1988 coup in the Maldives, the 1993 assassination of Sri Lankan president Ranasinghe Premadasa and the May 2009 killing of Velupillai Prabhakaran were some of his world scoops. He was also the first to report the December 2004 Asian tsunami. His reporting on Sri Lanka’s drawn out Tamil separatist conflict earned him accusations of bias by both sides of the ethnic divide and a medal and title, Chevalier, Order National du Merite (Knight of the National Order of Higher Merit), from the Government of France in 2005. Amal has covered Sri Lanka’s peace processes extensively, including the peace negotiations in Thailand, Japan and Europe between 2002 and 2006. He has also covered South Asian summits, especially during the height of nuclear tensions in the region and reported on regional issues while on assignment in India, Pakistan and Dubai. Amal is also a media trainer having worked with the BBC Trust, the Sri Lanka College of Journalism as well as the media in the Maldives. He is a past president of the Foreign Correspondents’ Association of Sri Lanka and is one of its few honorary life members.
Dr Dushni Weerakoon is the Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS) and Head of its Macroeconomic Policy Research. Her research and publications cover areas related to macroeconomic policy, regional trade integration, and international economics. She has extensive experience working in policy development committees of the Government of Sri Lanka, working as a consultant to international development organisations, and serving as a director on the boards of corporate and academic entities in Sri Lanka. She holds a BSc in Economics with First Class Honors from the Queen’s University of Belfast, U.K., and an MA and PhD in Economics from the University of Manchester, U.K.


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