Bank reforms leading to “social disaster” in Sri Lanka

15 March 1999

MONLAR, a network of Sri Lankan people’s organisations, has written to the World Bank pointing out that social and equity issues have been overlooked, and democracy has been infringed in its pursuit of structural adjustment in Sri Lanka. As reforms have strengthened the elite the country is experiencing “the worst social crisis in its history”. Moreover, the Bank’s latest proposals, including reforms to land-ownership, irrigation, the agricultural sector, social services and labour rights are likely to lead to further “unimaginable social disaster and to terrible violence”, and are being carried out in a totally non-transparent and undemocratic manner.

The letter to Wolfensohn contrasts Bank policies on the ground with his new rhetoric and calls on the Bank to have a close dialogue with Sri Lankan people’s organisations to hear evidence of the social crisis and discuss alternatives.

For a copy of the letter contact MONLAR: tel/fax: 0094-1-617576;