Follow us on

|

Photo Essay

Sri Lanka: The stranded state

Sri Lanka has faced a series of misfortunes—the wrath of a 26-year-long civil war, a devastating tsunami, the Easter bombings of 2018, the spread of COVID-19, and now, the economic crisis.
Fishing boats in Pasikuda, stationed owing to a shortage of fuel, on May 6. That was the day Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared an Emergency, for the second time in little over a month.
Fishing boats in Pasikuda, stationed owing to a shortage of fuel, on May 6. That was the day Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared an Emergency, for the second time in little over a month.Photo: Nipun Prabhakar
1/10
The economic crisis deprived this bartender of a job. Now, he wants to leave the country he loves and settle elsewhere. He is seen here, idling on one of the boats in the famous Dutch canal in Negombo, on May 11.
The economic crisis deprived this bartender of a job. Now, he wants to leave the country he loves and settle elsewhere. He is seen here, idling on one of the boats in the famous Dutch canal in Negombo, on May 11. Photo: Nipun Prabhakar
2/10
Mosque Street in Negombo after a spell of rain, on May 12. That day, the government relaxed the nationwide curfew for two hours to allow people to stock up.
Mosque Street in Negombo after a spell of rain, on May 12. That day, the government relaxed the nationwide curfew for two hours to allow people to stock up. Photo: Nipun Prabhakar
3/10
Young people continue with their regular beach cricket, even as a curfew was announced in Negombo on May 11.
Young people continue with their regular beach cricket, even as a curfew was announced in Negombo on May 11.Photo: Nipun Prabhakar
4/10
People are taking their money out of banks and investing in livestock and commodities. I visited this sheep pen with a friend who was buying goats as investment. He said that in the past few months, the Sri Lankan rupee had been devalued to such an extent that it made little sense to leave it in a bank.
People are taking their money out of banks and investing in livestock and commodities. I visited this sheep pen with a friend who was buying goats as investment. He said that in the past few months, the Sri Lankan rupee had been devalued to such an extent that it made little sense to leave it in a bank.Photo: Nipun Prabhakar
5/10
Boats lie idle in the Dutch Canal of Negombo. Also known as Hamilton Canal, it is a popular tourist destination, known for its Venetian vibes.
Boats lie idle in the Dutch Canal of Negombo. Also known as Hamilton Canal, it is a popular tourist destination, known for its Venetian vibes. Photo: Nipun Prabhakar
6/10
The statue of a reclining Buddha, approximately 48 feet long, on Pidurangala Rock. A group of tourists, a rarity in Sri Lanka now, makes its way up to the summit to view Sigiriya Rock.
The statue of a reclining Buddha, approximately 48 feet long, on Pidurangala Rock. A group of tourists, a rarity in Sri Lanka now, makes its way up to the summit to view Sigiriya Rock. Photo: Nipun Prabhakar
7/10
Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, adorns an empty bus in Dambulla.
Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, adorns an empty bus in Dambulla.Photo: Nipun Prabhakar
8/10
A fish market in Negombo on the morning of May 13, when the curfew was lifted from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local people said there was hardly any catch that day, both because of a rough sea and because there was no fuel for the boats to venture out.
A fish market in Negombo on the morning of May 13, when the curfew was lifted from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local people said there was hardly any catch that day, both because of a rough sea and because there was no fuel for the boats to venture out.Photo: Nipun Prabhakar
9/10
Old fish goes cheap. The buyers are mostly local residents and hotel owners who are struggling to stay afloat with meagre means.
Old fish goes cheap. The buyers are mostly local residents and hotel owners who are struggling to stay afloat with meagre means.Photo: Nipun Prabhakar
10/10