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Is Sri Lanka the Next Argentina?

Summary:
Sri Lanka has long been prone to macroeconomic instability as a result of its deep social and political divisions. If the country's newly elected president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, pursues policies that perpetuate these divisions, macroeconomic stability will remain elusive. CAMBRIDGE – As Sri Lanka makes another crucial political transition, it faces a major risk of macroeconomic instability. Minimizing that risk will depend, above all, on whether the country’s newly elected president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, can defy his reputation and embrace inclusive politics. Abolish the Billionaires? PS OnPoint Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

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Sri Lanka has long been prone to macroeconomic instability as a result of its deep social and political divisions. If the country's newly elected president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, pursues policies that perpetuate these divisions, macroeconomic stability will remain elusive.

CAMBRIDGE – As Sri Lanka makes another crucial political transition, it faces a major risk of macroeconomic instability. Minimizing that risk will depend, above all, on whether the country’s newly elected president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, can defy his reputation and embrace inclusive politics.

This idyllic island in the Indian Ocean was once a star performer. In the years following independence in 1948, progress on leading social indicators such as poverty, infant mortality, and primary education put Sri Lanka well ahead of its neighbors – India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh – and was the envy of much of the developing world. But, for several decades now, divisiveness and conflict have been the serpent in this paradise.

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