No one understands Jordan Peterson’s quote better than Sri Lanka “You may say, ‘Well dragons don’t exist’. It’s, like, yes, they do – the category “predator” and the category “dragon” are the same category. It absolutely exists. It’s a superordinate category. It exists absolutely more than anything else. In fact, it really exists”.
Sri Lanka an island nation is located in South Asia and is separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. It shares a maritime border with India and Maldives.
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is its legislative capital, which is commonly called as Kotte. Kotte is a satellite city of Colombo which is Sri Lanka’s biggest city and the economic and judicial hub of the island nation.
The area of Sri Lanka is 65,610 square kilometres and has a population of 2.19 crores (21.9 million) and the three main religions in Sri Lanka are Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam.
On April 05, 2022 as the sun was setting on Independence Square in Cinnamon Gardens in Colombo, Sri Lanka, protestors of varying age groups protested against the Sri Lankan government for the economic turmoil that the country is going through.
There is a general feeling among the protestors that the Sri Lankan politicians had for long kept them divided on basis of being Tamilians, Sinhalese and Muslims. Now each and every Sri Lankan is yearning for the basics of bread and butter. Divisive politics has clearly no role in Sri Lanka anymore with fuel and food shortages reaching an unprecedented level never seen earlier in the nation’s history.
A series of catastrophes in the last decade, both natural and man-made has brought Sri Lanka on a slippery surface where it has plunged neck deep in an economic and political turmoil.
What started with heavy debts being taken from China and the other international monetary agencies, the 2019 Easter bombings and peaking with the Covid-19 pandemic which saw the tourist footfall plummeting to an all time low, culminated in the declaration of an economic emergency on 01 September 2021 and nationwide public emergency on 01 April 2022.
From 2010 to 2020, Sri Lanka’s debt more than doubled. By the end of 2022, Sr Lanka’s debt would be US$ 4 billion.
The forex of Sri Lanka in 2019 was US$ 7.5 billion and in July 2021 it had drastically dropped to US$ 2.8 billion.
China who is famous for predatory help and for entrapping smaller nations in a debt trap, successfully engulfed Sri Lanka in its clutches which resulted in the Hambantota port in Sri Lanka being taken over by China for a 99-year lease in July 2017, as Sri Lanka started defaulting on its payments to China.
The Dragon had finally unleashed its predatory prowess.
Despite repeated requests by Sri Lanka to China to restructure its debts, China has maintained a stoic silence on this issue while the common citizen in Sri Lanka struggles for survival.
James Van Der Beek’s quote will continue to haunt Sri Lanka in the times ahead “I think anybody with an insecurity, which is everyone, appreciates the fact that it’s much easier to be a predator than it is to be prey”.
About the Writer –
Lt Col JS Sodhi (Retd)
The writer who retired from the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army is an alumnus of NDA, Khadakwasla and IIT Kanpur. He is a M.Tech in Structures has also done MBA and LLB and is a prolific writer and a public speaker. He Tweets and Koos at @JassiSodhi24. The views expressed are personal.