Despite Total Collapse, Sri Lanka Brags of Zero Covid Deaths

The following article from Brownstone Institute

“Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.” ~ Milton Friedman

Not only does Milton’s quote hold true in times of dire crisis, but worse, programs expand with even less scrutiny and oversight.  

If you’re unfamiliar with the situation in Sri Lanka, here are a couple videos to give you an idea. Bad governance is to blame (or too much governance), namely an ill-advised fertilizer ban which stoked a severe food shortage and export drought. Combined with the debt servicing pains as central banks around the globe tighten policy, it’s nothing short of a disaster.

Inflation has risen to the highest on record, since the country gained independence in 1948. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka reports 54.6% YoY inflation with overall food inflation at 80.1%. In fact, this may be an understatement, as the NYT reported back in December 2021 that certain vegetables like tomatoes and carrots have seen 5-fold price increase annually. 

According to NPR, “the World Food Program’s most recent analysis reported that 86% of families were either skipping meals, eating less or buying worse food.”

Sri-lanka inflation

Thankfully, there is a silver lining: ZERO COVID DEATHS! That’s right, on Monday July 18, Sri Lanka’s Department of Government Information (which continues to publish daily covid death counts) announced that there was not a single Covid fatality the day prior:

Sri-lanka no covid deaths

Sri Lankan residents must be reassured to know their authorities are focusing on the essentials during a time when public debt servicing rates have risen 6-fold from 5.22% a year prior to 31.01% today. In this same period, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s balance sheet more than doubled from roughly $11 billion USD to over $27 billion USD.

Apparently, owning over one fourth of their entire sovereign bond market was not enough QE to prevent rates from exploding nor was it enough to keep the Ministry of Finance from defaulting for the first time in its history. Surely, maintaining the Covid-tracking bureaucracy amid an unprecedented financing crisis is the kind of bold leadership that the IMF hoped to foster with their 16th bailout for the nation.

In the spirit of never letting a good crisis go to waste, the central bank has launched an effort to create a “comprehensive data gathering system on cross border transactions and domestic foreign currency transactions”. Referred to as the International Transactions Reporting System (ITRS), the plan aims to fill a “multitude of existing data gaps”.

Leaving civil liberty concerns aside, the timing of such an initiative is absurd! On top of subjecting private banks to additional compliance costs, which ultimately will be passed on to customers in the form of higher lending rates (rates that have already quadrupled since last July, see below), tax payers must also fund the ITRS Monitoring Unit to ensure they’re being properly spied upon.

Sri Lank Prime Lending

Now that the president who oversaw this mess has fled the country, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will fulfill the role. Protestors set his house ablaze to voice their excitement. When will the masses wise up and, instead of falling for the false promises that got them here, demand deregulation? When will we stop electing leaders like this:

Double masked. Didn’t he get the memo there are zero Covid deaths?



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  1. I have spoken to a very active protester in Sri Lanka (who I personally knew a long time ago) and he says the Sri Lankan protesters have no concern over digital identity or surveillance issues. They are waiting for an IMF bailout (which was one of their demands) and they believe after that fuel rationing the QR codes will be removed and they’ll go back to normal. Neither are they aware of or concerned about vaccine injuries. Almost everyone in Sri Lanka (protesters included) are mortally afraid of Covid and generally hold all doctors and the WHO in high esteem. They don’t understand or identify with the western protest movement (eg Dutch farmers/Canadian truckers). Some have a vague notion that they are “right wing extremists that hate immigrants and refugees”. The notion of sanctity of individual freedom barely exists in a post colonised (by Europeans for 500 years) country and government paternalism and largesse seems to be the end result. There is however a small but longstanding revolutionary Marxist movement that claims to oppose “oppression by elites” Believe it or not the new President, a WEF candidate, is more popular than the one they just removed whose removal was the SOLE OBJECTIVE of the recent protest there. Please feel free to PM me and I can put you in touch with some of them.