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Story Publication logo June 19, 2024

Democracy in Debt: Sri Lanka - Beyond the Headlines Trailer



The people of Sri Lanka face food insecurity, power cuts, unemployment, and inflation.

Trailer for the documentary 'Democracy in Debt: Sri Lanka - Beyond the Headlines.' Video by Beena Sarwar. Sri Lanka, 2024.

Sri Lanka is one of the world’s oldest living civilisations—and one of the world's longest running democracies. Dutuwewa in North Central Province is a purana gama, or ancient village, dating back to the 2nd century B.C. The rice-growing heartland of the country, Dutuweva’s lush paddy fields and vast irrigation lakes provide a visual and social contrast to the cityscapes of Colombo. The villagers are largely self-sufficient, highly conscious of their historical legacy—and deeply disillusioned with the country's politics.

Sri Lanka made headlines in 2022 when a massive, unprecedented economic crisis catalysed sustained, peaceful public protests and forced regime change. Colombo, the modern capital, is where policy decisions are taken but, in a democracy, it is villages like Dutuwewa that make their voices heard. How has the country coped? What lessons does Sri Lanka's situation hold for the world?

This multilayered film brings together multiple voices and perspectives. Juxtaposing residents of a remote village with the policy makers of the city, it combines the thoughts and feelings of villagers with the opinions of economists, thinkers, and politicians.

Democracies are in debt all the over the world. This documentary highlights patterns and universal issues that will resonate elsewhere and are also reflected in South Asia’s most recent elections.

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Democracy and Authoritarianism

Democracy and Authoritarianism




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