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Image: Chinese tourists at Koh Samet Beach in Thailand. Credit: Kalinga Seneviratne

Ukraine War and Chinese Lockdowns Add Fuel to COVID’s Devastating Blow

Analysis by Mohan Srilal

COLOMBO (IDN) — The COVID-19 pandemic dealt a devastating blow to tourism across Asia that has been a driving force of economic growth, particularly in countries like Sri Lanka, Maldives, Thailand and Indonesia. Today there’s a trifecta of impacts on the tourism industry in the region first from COVID, then the conflict in Ukraine and lately the lockdowns in China.

Photo: WFP / Mahmoud Zaza

This is the second in a series of two articles. Click here for Part 1

COLOMBO (IDN) — What was never mentioned in connection with power cuts and soaring fuel and energy prices was the privatization of sale of the Yugadanavi power plant to an American New Fortress company in a corrupt mid-night deal in November 2021 by former US citizen President Rajapakse, before he took wing to New York to address the United Nation’s General Assembly to boast about his green energy and fertilizer policies that had bought Sri Lanka to the current disaster!

Photo: Millions of  people globally are on the brink of famine. Credit: WFP/Marwa Awad

Viewpoint by Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake *

This is the first in a series of two articles.

Them belly full but we hungry
A hungry mob is an angry mob
A rain a-fall but the dirt, it tough
A pot a-cook but the food no ‘nough

A hungry man is an angry man
— Bob Marley and the Wailers

Image: Beachcomber Resort Island. Credit: Kalinga Seneviratne.

By Sheryl Lal and Akansha Narayan*

NADI, Fiji (IDN) — Though Fiji Islands was unaffected by the first wave of COVID-19, its tourism sector, the lifeblood of the economy, has been devastated by border closure across the world due to the pandemic in the past two years. Thus, when the Fijian Tourism Expo (FTE) returned after a break of two years, Fiji Tourism’s CEO Brent Hill was in an upbeat mood, especially because they have been able to attract over 500 participants to the Expo in these competitive times for the travel industry. But, having experienced the vulnerabilities, sustainability was very much in focus during presentations at the event here.

Image Credit: RepublicWorld.comImage Credit:

This is the second in a series of three articles. Please click here for Part 2.

Viewpoint by Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake *

An Unsinkable Aircraft carrier? Asset stripping a strategic island

COLOMBO (IDN) — Former US Under Secretary for South and Central Asia, Alice G. Well, a few years ago called Sri Lanka a "valuable piece of real estate" in the Indian Ocean, and the country not long ago turned down a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact and a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).

Image Credit: Google Maps

This is the first in a series of three articles.

Viewpoint by Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake *

Debt cancellation, not asset stripping is the need of the hour!

COLOMBO (IDN) — In Cherry Blossom lined Washington DC in the glare of global media April 18-23 Sri Lanka became the poster child of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF), Spring Meetings. The strategic Indian Ocean island’s pathetic plight featured on major media and television channels that craft the global narrative, with images of people in queues amid food, fuel, and medicine shortages due to its crashing currency, soaring cost of living and ‘Arab Spring’ style protests.

Photo: Handful of tourists in a deserted Khaosan which was before the pandemic filled with street stalls and tourists. Credit: Pattama Vilailert.

By Pattama Vilailert

BANGKOK (IDN) — Street vendors have been an iconic attraction for millions of tourists that visited Bangkok each year before the COVID-19 pandemic. In perfect tune with the Thais' approach to enjoying life to its fullest, including eating and shopping, street vendors have set their carts in the heart of Thai people and Bangkok for a century, serving both Thais and foreigners.


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