Sri Lankans hold up their mobile phone torches during a vigil outside the president’s office to condemn police shootings of protesters, Colombo, Sri Lanka, April 19, 2022 (AP photo by Eranga Jayawardena).
The ongoing economic and political crisis in Sri Lanka demonstrates more than ever that geopolitical rivalry fosters myopic decision-making, and that peace is a prerequisite for intergenerational justice. Sri Lanka is facing an unprecedented emergency. Decades of financial mismanagement by governments dominated by the family of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, combined with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the  Russia-Ukraine war, have now left the country on the brink of economic collapse. For the first time since independence in 1948, Sri Lanka’s government announced that it will be defaulting on all $51 billion of its sovereign debt, as it seeks an urgent bailout [...]
Nepalese protesters clash with police as the parliament debated a proposed $500 million U.S. aid grant, Kathmandu, Nepal, Feb. 20, 2022 (AP photo by Niranjan Shreshta).
Nepal’s recent political turmoil put its internal divisions in the spotlight and raised questions of where the country stands 16 years after the end of its civil conflict and five years after the first elections held under its new federalist constitution. Ostensibly a dispute over whether or not to accept a U.S. aid package—a $500 million Millennium Challenge Corporation, or MCC, grant first initialed in 2017—the crisis saw years of indecision, polarization, disinformation and recently violent protests before Parliament eventually ratified the grant in February. The protracted ordeal over what was seemingly a straightforward development grant exposed deep cracks in [...]
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