Each January politicians and corporate executives from across the world gather at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos – with a Hollywood celebrity or glamorous royal in tow to excite the assembled media.
Rajapaksa, the president who would be king, subverted every democratic institution to serve his personal ends. It took a coalition of ethnic and religious minorities and a substantial section of the Sinhala majority to end his dreams of political immortality.
When Mahinda Rajapaksa, 69, made his bid for an unprecedented third term barely six weeks earlier, a comfortable victory for the incumbent had been choreographed and projected.
This paper reviews recent issues and trends in poverty and vulnerability in Sri Lanka in the context of neo-liberalism. For purposes of contextualisation, reference will be made to the evolution of economic liberalisation, social inequality, and social protection, since 1977. It begins with an analysis of the contemporary neo-liberal policy regime with its distinctive Sri Lankan characteristics. It proceeds to describe the social and economic crises associated withthe current policy regime, and selected mechanisms by which these crises are transmitted insociety.