What Happened in Sri Lanka?
Lesson to Last a Lifetime
In an uprising that had its roots in the prime minister, who imposed an imperious decision to dictate organic farming on an entire country, led to widespread hunger after the agricultural economy collapse. “Sri Lanka’s people have wrought the first contra-organic national uprising in history,” writes the WSJ’s Tunku Varadarajan.
Footage of protesters swarming the presidential palace—”splashing in the swimming pool, watching cricket on T.V. in the bedroom, making tea in the lavish kitchen”—resembled the mass break-in at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, but with none of the menace of the American trespass. Mr. Rajapaksa was in fact an American citizen until 2019, the year he was elected Sri Lanka’s president. He has now fled the country.
The Left’s Sacred Green Policies
Who will offer Mr. Rajapaksa refuge: the Sierra Club, Berkeley, the Biden administration? Perhaps not, considers Mr. Varadaraian. To be considered are serious accusations of war crimes. The prime minister was driven from office in part because he was an overzealous green warrior, who imposed on his countrymen “a policy that the American environmental left holds sacred.”
During his seven years spent living in America, during the late 1990s and early 2000s, Mr. Rajapaksa was in thrall to green nostrums, explains Mr. Varadarajan.
He campaigned for president in 2019 on a platform that promised a form of technocratic utopia, including the commitment to turn Sri Lankan agriculture completely organic in a decade. He was particularly attentive to Vandana Shiva, a rabid Indian opponent of modern scientific agriculture. She considers (Norman) Borlaug the enemy.
Mr. Rajapaksa took a step that poleaxed Sri Lanka. On April 27, 2021—with no warning, and with no attempt to teach farmers how to cope with the change—he announced a ban on all synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Henceforth, he decreed, Sri Lankan agriculture would be 100% organic. Agronomists and other scientists warned loudly of the catastrophe that would ensue, but they were ignored. This Sri Lankan Nero listened to no one.
Clueless in D.C.
Why not encourage producers to increase supply across the economy? It is a better path than discouraging demand, suggests TV. Instead, we have Biden Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is tweeting a message that will do “nothing to encourage U.S. oil producers and investors:”
I’m challenging the international energy community to tackle the energy transition and join me in @Pittsburgh on September 21st for @GCEAF_USA. Will YOU rise to the challenge? https://t.co/DyDOsm6VYJ #GCEAF pic.twitter.com/ruF2GfsUyf
— Secretary Jennifer Granholm (@SecGranholm) July 13, 2022
Right now we are witnessing one of the most significant events in human history: the clean energy transition. It is long overdue and it can’t progress fast enough.
It is long overdue for the Biden White House to recognize that forcing inefficient and expensive energy sources on a flagging economy is not clean at all, but an entirely avoidable mess.
Lost in all the ideological ululation was another likely explanation for Mr. Rajapaksa’s action: So debt-ridden was Sri Lanka—to China, in particular—that he may have decided to forgo imported fertilizer and pesticide as a money-saving measure.
What Happened Next?
Rice production fell by 20% in the first 180 days of the ban on synthetic fertilizer. Tea, Sri Lanka’s main cash crop, has been hit hard, with exports at their lowest level in nearly a quarter-century. Whether from indignation over the new laws or an inability to go organic, farmers left a third of all farmland fallow.
Food prices soared as a result of scarcity and Sri Lanka’s people, their pockets already hit by the pandemic, began to go hungry. To add to the stench of failure, a shipload of manure from China had to be turned back after samples revealed dangerous levels of bacteria. The farmers had no synthetic fertilizer, and hardly any of the organic kind.
Rajapaksa, the Green Martyr?
We will never know if Mr. Rajapaksa would have lost his life. He fled the country.
Accountability, Democracy, Rule of Law
Sri Lanka must now turn to better ways: accountability, democracy, the rule of law and yes, modern scientific farming that can feed all of its 22 million people.
— Palki Sharma (@palkisu) July 9, 2022
NOW – Anti-government protesters besiege and storm the prime minister’s office in Sri Lanka’s capital.pic.twitter.com/CePWVWUrPh
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) July 13, 2022
BREAKING: Sri Lanka protestors have stormed the presidential palace pic.twitter.com/wMLTBymtot
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) July 9, 2022
Tucker Carlson on Sri Lanka crisis: “Entire country collapses because of green new deal.” pic.twitter.com/h9Ax7k7BSp
— Real Mac Report (@RealMacReport) July 12, 2022
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