Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Protests Against Inflation and the IMF Return to Sri Lanka

Protesters, along with unions and political organizations took to the streets of Sri Lanka on Thursday, mobilizing against inflation, staggering food prices, and new IMF adjustment programs ushered in by the the illegitimate government of Wickremesinghe, which replaced Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s government by mass demonstrations in July.

Facebook Twitter Share
A man holds a Sri Lankan national flag during a protest outside the Parliament complex in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Photo: EPA-EFE

Thousands of people took to the streets this Thursday in the capital of Sri Lanka against the increased cost of living, which has exacerbated a deep, months-long economic debacle, as well as the government’s agreement with the IMF that will involve new economic adjustments.

The protest, organized by the Union Coordination Center (TUCC), was one of the largest since the Sri Lankan president, Ranil Wickremesinghe, took office last July after former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa was ousted and fled the country.

Wickremesinghe himself is an illegitimate leader for the people of Sri Lanka. He was elected by a discredited parliament that secretly voted for him to replace Rajapaksa. So far, Wickremesinghe has continued repression while seeking to negotiate an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that will bring greater attacks on the living conditions of Sri Lankans.

In September, the IMF “warned” Sri Lanka that the initial agreement to grant about 2.9 billion dollars in an urgent rescue program is “only the beginning of a long process that the country must follow to get out of the crisis.” A process that will include fiscal adjustments and reforms in the interests of capital that will only further devastate the Sri Lankan working class. 

Those who took to the streets this Thursday protested the escalation of food prices on the island, which has caused a deterioration in the quality of life for the 22 million inhabitants of Sri Lanka, while facing the worst economic crisis in its history due to foregin debt and the shortage of international currencies.

According to the latest data from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, year-on-year overall inflation reached a record figure of 73.7 percent last September, while food inflation stood at 85.8 percent.

In a parliamentary session, Wickremesinghe acknowledged that the island’s economy has collapsed completely, especially in recent months in which there have been shortages of fuel, raw materials, and power outages.

The protesters are demanding Wickremesinghe’s resignation, just as they demanded the resignation of his predecessor a few months ago.

In the face of the deep crisis and the prospects of more economic hardship for the Sri Lankan people through the IMF’s austerity policies, Wickremesinghe’s response has been increased repression of the protesters.

But this does not seem to be enough to pacify the people of Sri Lanka. The government’s repression has not been able to stop protests, strikes, and clashes, and nothing indicates that that will change anytime soon.

Originally published in Spanish on October 27 in La Izquierda Diario.

Facebook Twitter Share

La Izquierda Diario Argentina

Our Argentinian sister site, part of the international network of La Izquierda Diario


Participants in a memorial ceremony lay flowers to pay respect to a deceased 23-year-old worker in front of the SPC headquarters in Seoul, Thursday. She died in an accident at a baking factory in Pyeongtaek affiliated with SPC on Saturday.

How Workers and Socialists are Responding to a Workplace Death at One of South Korea’s Largest Food Manufacturers

Following a workplace death at SPC group, one of the largest food manufacturers in South Korea, a consumer boycott quickly gained traction. Organized workers and revolutionary socialists are playing a role in this struggle.

Sam Carliner

November 12, 2022

What’s behind the Escalations in Korea?

For the first time in five years, tensions in the Korean peninsula are escalating. This comes in the context of a U.S. military buildup in the Pacific, driven by greater capitalist competition between the United States and China.

Sam Carliner

October 7, 2022
A Pakistani man wades through flood waters carrying a bit bag of produce.

‘It’s Time to Declare War on This Climate-Destroying System!’: Interview with a Pakistani Socialist about the Flood

The flood in Pakistan is one of the most horrific climate events in recent history. A Pakistani socialist describes the consequences of the disaster, as well as the economic crises facing the country.

Maxi Schulz

October 3, 2022
A male rescue worker rescues two children from flood waters, with two rescue boats and other people in the background.

Climate Change Causes Torrential Flooding in Pakistan, Dispossessing Millions

Due to increased monsoon rains caused by climate change, Pakistan has been hit by catastrophic floods, killing over 1,000 people and displacing thousands more.

Molly Rosenzweig

August 28, 2022


Biden, Congress, and the Squad Just Voted to Block a Rail Strike. Workers Should be the Ones Who Decide

The Biden administration called on Congress to undemocratically impose a contract on rail workers across the country and avert a nationwide rail strike. The deal has already passed the House with unanimous support from Democrats. This latest maneuver by a “proud pro-labor President” shows that there is no such thing: the state acts in favor of the bosses to protect their profits.

Madeleine Freeman

November 30, 2022

“Grueling Working Conditions and Low Wages”: A Testimonial from a UPS Warehouse Worker

Workers in UPS warehouses are among the most precarious workers in the logistics industry. As the 2023 Teamsters contract negotiations approaches, a UPS warehouse worker speaks out about his working conditions and calls for unity in struggle among UPS drivers and warehouse workers.

Nehuen Latif

November 30, 2022
The U.S. Congress building

Senate Votes to Overturn Covid-19 National Emergency

Just over a week after the “election to save democracy,” Senate Democrats voted with Republicans to end the Covid-19 Emergency Declaration three years after it was invoked. Both parties show us time and time again that the working class needs its own party.

Mike Pappas

November 29, 2022
Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco. Logo on a grey building.

Workers Built Twitter — They Should Own It, Not Elon Musk

Corporations like Twitter cannot function without the workers who do the daily labor.

Kyle Thibodeau

November 27, 2022