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What’s really going on in Sri Lanka?

What’s really going on in Sri Lanka?

Many of those in our beloved online community have asked us recently, what the situation in Sri Lanka is currently.

We have always been a platform that encouraged those in and outside Sri Lanka to enjoy the best the country has to offer whilst providing practical and useful information for those planning on visiting.

It is with heavy hearts we create this piece of content to educate and inform those who look to us for information, on how our resilient nation is rallying during a particularly difficult period.

But, as always, the sun shines on our little island, giving us hope for brighter futures.

The good, the bad and the ugly

As early as March the country which was on an upturn after two years of economic hardship stemming from the COVID pandemic began to slowly feel the pinch of depleting resources. The cues began once again reminding us of lockdown times and there was rumours of an impending financial crisis ahead. As the dollar hit an all time high, power cuts for as long as 20 hours began to be announced. Fuel was also scarce sending citizens in to panic and dismay. This was life for weeks as the country waited on their leaders to provide relief and assistance.

Sri Lanka and its people struggled through the racial and economic disparity that stemmed from a 30 year ethnic conflict only to have a heinous act of terrorism to follow on Easter Sunday in 2019. As the country began to heal, like the rest of the world, COVID shut down the country and its economy, and two years later the positivity in the air for brighter tomorrows was palpable. Unfortunately, news about corruption and the mismanagement of funds by the leaders we chose began to emerge as the country asked for more accountability from its elected officials.

As these circumstances reached crescendo, the people of the country began to rally, first in small pockets and then as fuel prices continues to reach up almost a 100% increase from the last year, coupled to shortages in necessities ranging from candles, LP gas to soap, one by one all of us took to the street in peaceful but vocal protest demanding justice.

Groups ranging from the IT sector, university student groups, trade unions, parents, teachers, clergy, ex military personnel, artists and performers began to gather in the heart of Colombo to creatively and bravely call for the Government to resign immediately.

Is it safe to travel?

While these protests continue to happen, what does not get reported is the way which these demonstrations take place. The main protest site, in the heart of Colombo in Galle Face is home to thousands of volunteers and everyday Sri Lankans who are essentially creating a community that refuses to give up until the needs of the people are met.

Here, you can find Sri Lankan’s from all walks of life, including some tourists, chanting, singing, dancing, cooking for each other and creating art as the message for accountability remains unchanged.

Whilst there have been isolated incidents of violence outside the capital, these remain the exception and not the rule.

How the does the economy effect my travel plans?

For a country that relies heavily on tourism and its people, who is incredibly resilient, tourism continues to go on down south, in the capital and up country unhindered. The price of living has no doubt affected the locals, but exchange rate discrepancies ensure that travel for foreigners continues to be more affordable than ever before. Our team urges you to continue to travel to the country, see what it has to offer, and like most foreigners on the ground, engage with the peaceful movement across the island that is demanding change.

Our team also urges you to be open-minded about the scarcities in fuel and power. By staying in local homes and hotels, you continue to provide the country with much needed foreign exchange, as economists and experts race to find solutions to mounting debt. We constantly hear stories on the ground of the sense of community that both locals and foreigners are a part of as they display an infallible attitude to withstand the everyday struggles together.

How else can we help?

Donate, donate, donate. The Sheneller Team has put together a list of vetted and credible sources that does amazing work at a grassroots level to ensure that the movement on the ground continues in a peaceful and meaningful way.

Additionally, we encourage you to buy Sri Lankan products wherever you are in the world and stand with us as we make a better tomorrow for ourselves. This can be in the form of souvenirs, tea, garments or even hiring local freelancers who can in turn bring in foreign exchange for their work.

Finally, we urge you to do your own research, hear the stories on the ground and know that the Sri Lankan spirit we have shown you in each on of our videos still exists despite the circumstances. Whilst you may have to deal with minor inconveniences on your stay, these do not compare to the impact you can have on the historical effort that is taking place on the ground.

Your safety is our number one priority, and to be assured on that, look no further that the way in which our people rally, for the first time in our history, devoid on factions and petty politics. And be assured that you are visiting a country at the cusp of a transformation that will forever change the way Sri Lanka is written about in the history books. Come and be a REAL part of the peaceful revolution.

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