With IMF in the picture, Sri Lanka’s public health sector faces a new crisis

Which the current economic crisis has had a disastrous impact on the health sector, the conditions that will be imposed as part of a possible IMF deal could bring about long-term structural challenges

Shriya Singh

People’s Dispatch | April 30, 2022

Photo via Newsfirst Sri Lanka

In a stalemate between the people of Sri Lanka and the government, the health sector stands on the threshold of collapse as the country runs out of essential medicines. 

The health crisis in Sri Lanka reached alarming levels this month due to an acute shortage of medicines and medical equipment in hospitals. Hospitals, doctors and unions have been putting out calls for donations on social media requesting help for essential medicines, without which several health services have already come to a halt.

Due to a shortage of anesthetic drugs, the Director-General of Health Services, Dr. Asela Gunawardena announced that all except emergency surgeries have been suspended. As of mid-April, nearly 124 medical items were out of stock, reported The Sunday Morning.

The shortage of medicines has led to hospitals being forced to re-use equipment or substitute drugs. Concerned doctors, medical officers and unions have been holding protests to demand action from the government.

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Six Months of Farmers’ Protest At Delhi Border

Harsh Thakor

Countercurrents | May 27, 2021

There could hardly have been a better celebration of six months of the Delhi farmers protest at Tikri border in Delhi completed today, with the flag of liberation shimmering at a crescendo, on the call for a bandh of Samyukti Kisan Morcha.An impact of an inferno or intensity of coal burning in a furnace was displayed at Tikri border by the farmers in the May 26th protest by Bharatiya Kisan Union(Ugrahan).It was remarkable the manner it galvanised all the forces to crystallise such an event. The volume of revolutionary resistance was sung at it’s highest pitch, with the morale of a victorious army.Read More »


Workers Across US Strike Demanding Hike in Minimum Wage

Peoples Dispatch | February 19, 2021

On February 16, workers across the US participated in a countrywide strike demanding federal minimum wage be raised to $15 per hour. The strike was led by fast food workers who are paid between $7-9 per hour for an 8 hour work day. They were joined by health workers and workers from other sectors.Read More »


The Unraveling of A Script In Two Parts And Writing A New Script By Farmers

Amit Bhaduri and Chaman Lal

Frontier | January 30, 2021

The script of collaboration is in two parts. The first part was written long ago when the once revolutionary Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was released after long years from prison in the Andamans. He collaborated with the British as he had promised in several petitions for mercy he had written to the British authorities from jail. In what psychologists describe as ‘transferred anxiety’ he seemed to have transferred his hatred of the colonial British power to a hatred of fellow Indian Muslims. Since then, Guru Golwalkar and others in the RSS took this agenda forward. They all stayed away from the then anti-colonial struggle, and joined neither its non-violent stream led by Gandhi nor its violent stream led by martyrs like Bhagat Singh or Subhas Bose.

In a curious similarity the one-time revolutionary Savarkar became a collaborationist of the British, while Jinnah, a one-time resolute secular nationalist Congress leader who had stood firm even against the Khilafat movement because of its religious overtones, came to depend increasingly on the British for helping the Muslim minority against a majoritarian Hindu nationalism.  Both Savarkar and Jinnah who had started as secular political leaders ended their careers as leaders whose politics were defined by the religion they championed.Read More »


Conspiracy to Malign Farmers’ Movement

Harsh Thakor

Frontier | January 30, 2021

Tragically a historic peaceful march in the Capital of over 20 lakh peasants has been foisted as  a conspiracy against the nation. The sinister act of hoisting the Sikh flag on the red fort was undertaken by a BJP agent, Deep Sidhu. He infiltrated the ranks similar to Nazis masquerading as Communists in the burning of the Reichstag. There could not be a better manifestation of neo-fascism penetrating. The Kisan Sangarsh Commitee and the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Krantikari) played into the hands of the rulers by raising Khalistani politics and robbing the agitation of it’s secular democratic prestige.

The marchers stuck to the plan and did not divert from the route. Disruptionist elements from Kisan Sangharsh Commitee with Khalistani overtones violated the discipline or programme of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha and stated attacking the police barricades. Tragically one farmer succumbed to police attacks. Tremendous violence is being unleashed with a cross of swords which was instigated by elements hand in glove with the ruling party.The Social media has distorted the picture accusing or framing the participants of violating the norms set for the march. BKU(Ugrahan) secretary told me that this conduct was a complete aberration of the agenda planned with almost every participant adhering to the conditions agreed. It has virtually no w given a licence to the rulers to launch repression, paving the way for justifying terror on the farmers.Read More »


Is the Charge Against Farmers of ‘Disrupting Order’ in Delhi Politically Valid?

Nikita Sud

The Wire | January 26, 2021

How anarchical of a section of India’s striking farmers to break political codes ordained by the government. How dare they push for the will of the gana or a collective of people on Gantantra Diwas (Republic Day), a day on which ‘we the people’ gave to ourselves this constitution.

It would have been so much more proper for farmers to keep to neatly defined, peripheral routes for their tractor parade. After all, these routes on the outskirts of Delhi symbolised their place in the governmental imaginary. At the heart of this imaginary remains the political executive, shored up by military might, an indulgent judiciary, a pliant bureaucracy, fawning corporatised media, and ever-ascendant big business. Representatives of these pliant groups were no doubt invited to the official parade, replete with displays of military might and tableaus of the peaceful and prosperous federal units of India.Read More »


Fact-Check: Flags Hoisted at Red Fort Neither Replaced Tricolour, Nor Promoted Khalistan

Pooja Chaudhuri and Priyanka Jha

The Wire | January 26, 2021

As part of the protests against the Centre’s farm bills, farmers’ unions and the Delhi police had chalked out agreed-upon circular routes from Ghazipur, Singhu and Tikri borders for the Republic Day tractor parades.

It was decided that the protesters will enter Delhi but remain in areas near the border from the three entry points. Several protesting groups, however, veered off the course and were met with police lathicharge and tear gas shells. They entered the iconic Red Fort and hoisted flags from some domes and from a flagstaff, on the ramparts of the fort, used to unfurl the tricolour on Independence Day.Read More »


Thousands of Women Lead Protests on Mahila Kisan Divas

Mariam Dhawale

People’s Democracy | January 24, 2021

THERE was massive and enthusiastic participation of thousands of women all across the country on Mahila Kisan Divas on January 18. Six national women’s organisations – All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW), All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA), Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan (PMS), All India Agragami Mahila Samiti (AIAMS) and All India Mahila Sanskritik Sangathan (AIMSS) had decided to hold joint protests on January 18 to express solidarity with the farmers’ struggle. Apart from the demands of the struggle, women also demanded food, work, health services, waiver of loans of SHGs and action against harassment by MFIs.


The three farm laws and the power bill will further worsen the situation for women whose lives are already facing a severe crisis due to skyrocketing prices of essential commodities which has made it impossible to make both ends meet. The new Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act will aggravate the situation even more. The targeted public distribution system is in disarray. The distribution of free food grains has been discontinued since December. Regular food grains distribution through the ration shops has been disrupted. The NFHS5(National Family Health Survey) shows that in 13 out of 22 states, child stunting has deteriorated over the preceding four years.Read More »


Farmers Around the World Stand-in solidarity with Indian Kisans

Surender Sangha

People’s Democracy | January 24, 2020

WITH the ongoing peasant struggle in India, the global Indian diaspora, especially those with roots in Punjab and Haryana, people of the Indian descent, are protesting in favour of the kisan movement where Indian farmers are fighting against new anti-farmer legislation which was recently passed by the Indian government. These farm laws were passed without any consultation from farmers, farmers unions or agricultural or environmental experts. These newly imposed anti-farming laws hand over the entire farming sector to large greed filled agricultural corporations.Read More »