Sri Lanka’s green new deal was a human disaster

The Green Revolution by Norman Borlaug, the American agronomist who did more to feed the world than any man before or since, set Sri Lanka on the road to agricultural abundance in 1970. It was built around chemical fertilizers and crops bred to be disease resistant. 52 years later, Sri Lanka has carried out a revolution that is “anti-green” in the modern sense, overthrowing its president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa. In an uprising rooted in Mr Rajapaksa’s impressive decision to impose organic farming on the entire country – which led to widespread famine following the collapse of the agricultural economy – the people of Sri Lanka have carried out the first counter-organic national uprising in history.

Footage of protesters swarming the presidential palace – splashing in the swimming pool, watching cricket on television in the bedroom, making tea in the lavish kitchen – resembled the mass burglary of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, but with none of the threat of the US violation. Rajapaksa was in fact a US citizen until 2019, the year he was elected President of Sri Lanka. He has now fled the country.

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