Sri Lanka hangs at an uneasy nexus of intertwined inflationary pressures. Incredibly, neighboring countries that presently far surpass Sri Lanka in wealth, such as Singapore, once looked to this island as a model society; but with each year the prolonged conflict draws more resources away from national development. Internal strife and a struggling domestic economy also compound with critical dependencies. Sri Lanka remains virtually bare of known or developed petroleum resources and, with agriculture focused primarily on cash crops such as tea and palm oil, now reportedly imports 80% of its rice. Increasingly global demand for these basic goods encounters global supplies restricted by primarily human design whether in the form other nations’ wars or export limits.
The tangible result across the island has been ever increasing prices month to month. Gasoline rates are evident in bus fare hikes and higher average trishaw charges. The cost of rice can be felt in the daily lunch parcels with smaller portions of rice prepared by restaurants trying to resist visible price mark ups. The inflated costs of living are directly discovered at markets and grocery stores when finding new stickers covering originally marked prices and at times even one sticker over another.
From the position of an individual with relative financial and food security the creep is noticeable but only a slight adjustment of habits; whereas for many families previously stretched thin and responsible for multiple mouths, there hangs the immense uncertainty of when the progressive tolls will become an unmanageable crisis. With the least well off and most desperate already poised at this breaking point.
Posted By Adam Nord (Sri Lanka)
Posted Apr 20th, 2008