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The powerful family in the middle of Sri Lanka's economic crisis

Who are the Rajapaksas, and why do analysts say the powerful political family is to blame for Sri Lanka's economic mess?

08/16/2022
Category:
Business

Who are the Rajapaksas, and why do analysts say the powerful political family is to blame for Sri Lanka's economic mess?

In July 2022, Sri Lankan citizens stormed and occupied the republic's presidential palace after months of demonstrations. The protesters had one main demand: for the country's then-president Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resign.

The protests came off the back of a crippling economic crisis, the worst the country had seen since it claimed independence in 1948. As a result, the country's population struggled to get their hands on essential goods like fuel, food and medicine.

While some factors, like the Covid-19 pandemic and the Sri Lankan Easter bombings of 2019, were out of the government's control, political and economic analysts told CNBC that ultimately, some of the major policy missteps put in place by the Rajapaksa political dynasty caused Sri Lanka's economic demise.

So, what do we know about the Rajapaksa family, and what were the policy decisions that led to Sri Lanka's financial mess? Watch the video above for the explainer.