Impact of the Financial Crisis, Sri Lanka Cuts Number of Troops. PHOTO/Reuters
COLUMBUS – Sri Lanka which is economically bankrupt, will drastically cut personnel numbers military said the Ministry of Defense of Sri Lanka, Friday (13/1/2023). This policy was taken at a time when the government was trying to overhaul the messy financial condition after the unprecedented economic crisis.
The island nation has yet to recover from months of food and fuel shortages that made daily life miserable for its 22 million people.
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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has hiked taxes and imposed tough spending cuts to smooth the passage of the International Monetary Fund’s expected bailout following the default on government debt.
Sri Lanka’s armed forces are next on the chopping block, with the defense ministry announcing it will retire 65,000 of its 200,000 troops over the course of a year.
The cuts are the bulk of a plan to reduce Sri Lanka’s ground force to 100,000 by the end of the decade.
“The overall objective of the strategic blueprint is to establish a technically and tactically sound and balanced defense force,” said a Defense Ministry statement.
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Sri Lanka’s armed forces remain bloated more than a decade after the end of the country’s traumatic ethnic civil war.
Nearly 400,000 people served in the military at its peak strength in 2009. It was a time when government forces crushed the separatist Tamil Tiger movement during a relentless offensive that left thousands of civilian victims.
Defense accounted for nearly 10 percent of public spending last year, and according to expert analysts, the salaries of security forces personnel make up half of the government’s wage bill.
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