by Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake

It is increasingly clear that an economic proxy war between the fading and rising superpowers, the US and China, is currently unfolding in what Kishore Mahbubani termed the “Asian 21st Century” in strategically located Sri Lanka, sitting front and center of Indian Ocean energy, trade, and submarine or undersea data cable routes.

Sri Lanka, after all, is a test case for 54 other Global South countries caught in post-Covid-19 Euro bond debt traps, given an international financial system that seems to be no longer fit for the purpose.

Despite efforts by various International Monetary Fund (IMF) “advisors” to blame the economic crisis on Ceylon/Sri Lanka’s once envied welfare State culture and a lack of neoliberal economic reforms in addition to obvious corruption, it is very clear that the island’s first-ever debt default was directly related to increased private market borrowing from predatory hedge funds in the past four years when a series of exogenous economic shocks were administered to the country.

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