Wickremesinghe represents Sri Lanka, which has become a symbol of the fate that might soon befall countless other countries across the Global South. It’s therefore important to inform the masses of his crucial first-hand insight into the crushing effect that the US-led West’s anti-Russian sanctions are expected to have on food security in developing countries.
Sri Lanka has made global headlines for all the wrong reasons after its rapid economic collapse over the past few months, which was brought about by a confluence of poor policy choices and uncontrollable international circumstances, prompted fears that many other countries might soon follow its path. Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe just warned that the West’s anti-Russian sanctions might actually end up being what’s responsible for that worst-case scenario while speaking at an international panel discussion hosted by Indian media.
In his words, “Do you think sanctions will help? It will only drag the prices up. […] Let us look at the sanctions that are being imposed and ask ourselves if this is necessary. The sanctions won’t bring Russia to its knees, but it will bring the rest of the third world to its knees.” This echoes the concerns shared in early June by African Union Chairman Macky Sall, who also blamed the US-led West’s unprecedented anti-Russian sanctions for the food crisis and similarly warned about their consequences for the rest of the Global South.
Despite Sall representing several dozen countries whose combined population is roughly equal to China or India’s, his words were largely ignored by the global media. Wickremesinghe, by contrast, only represents a little over 20 million people but might have a much better chance attracting wider international attention due to that which has already hitherto been given by the media to his island nation. It’s also important to add that the Sri Lankan leader told the panel that the crisis has thus far threatened an estimated 6 million people with malnutrition, which is a little less than 1/3 of his citizens.
For whatever Western critics might claim about the influence of so-called “Russian propaganda”, it’s highly unlikely that it’s so powerful as to capture control of two completely different world leaders representing vastly different numbers of people. Anyone who honestly assesses Sall and Wickremesinghe’s statements can see that they independently arrived at the same conclusion in spite of the comprehensive asymmetries between their organization and country respectively. This observation in turn extends credence to their claims, namely that Western sanctions will starve the Global South.
Accepting the legitimacy of their analytical forecasts, the question then naturally becomes one of what should be done, which is much more difficult to answer than identifying the root cause of the forthcoming food crisis that’s expected to wreak havoc across the Global South. In truth, it might very well be the case that some Western leaders quietly want this to happen in order to destabilize the socio-economic and political situations within those countries that refused to sanction Russia in order to advance bespoke regime change plots against their leaders as punishment for their principled neutrality.
Those who capitulate to Western pressure to jump on the anti-Russian bandwagon could have their people fed scraps from the Golden Billion’s bountiful table considering how much food that bloc already produces and has thus far stockpiled. For as enticing of a prospect as this might sound for those who represent comparatively desperate people that have always struggled much more to survive than Westerners have, it’s notable that only four African leaders tuned in Zelensky’s virtual meeting with the African Union late last month, which was a major snub of the West’s new “secular god”.
To its credit, Sri Lanka also isn’t capitulating to Western pressure either, with Wickremesinghe previously urging Russia to export more fuel as well as fertilizer and food in an exclusive interview that he gave to TASS earlier this month. This official request objectively exists and is easily verifiable via the preceding hyperlink, yet US Secretary of State Blinken subsequently claimed that Russia was responsible for worsening Sri Lanka’s crisis even though it’s responsible for alleviating it. This divorce from reality therefore suggests that the US will order its global media allies to ignore Wickremesinghe’s latest words.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that the Global South will ignore them too. Rather, it might perhaps be the case that leading outlets across some of its major countries amplify his analysis in order to raise maximum awareness about it for the masses. After all, Wickremesinghe represents Sri Lanka, which has become a symbol of the fate that might soon befall countless other countries across the Global South. It’s therefore important to inform the masses of his crucial first-hand insight into the crushing effect that the US-led West’s anti-Russian sanctions are expected to have on food security in developing countries.
Looking forward, it’s predicted that Russia will continue doing its utmost to alleviate the consequences of the West’s artificially manufactured food crisis on the Global South, but it won’t be able to save everyone on its own. There are almost certainly bound to be innocent casualties who lose their lives as “collateral damage” in the Golden Billion’s Hybrid War of Famine on the Global South as punishment for its leaders’ principled neutrality towards the Ukrainian Conflict. Even so, everyone at the very least can have a clearer picture of who’s responsible for those deaths after what Wickremesinghe just said.