Sri Lanka is running out of food, medicine, gas, and money — but the tourists just keep coming

Maumita Sarkar flew from India to Sri Lanka in mid-April. It was Sinhala New Year when she arrived, which is traditionally a time of renewal and celebration: People clean their homes, carry out rituals, and set off firecrackers. But by April this year, Sri Lankans were taking to the streets to protest soaring prices, food and gas shortages, and a life they could no longer afford to keep living.

Against the backdrop of growing discontent in the country, Sarkar considered her travel options. The blogger spoke to the Sri Lankan embassy, a friend who had recently returned from the country, and a handful of local travel agents. They all assured her that things were, as she put, “absolutely fine.”

She decided to go forward with her trip.

“As soon as I landed there, the airport had so many foreigners, it seemed all normal,” Sarkar told Insider.

“While the media kept showing all the protests, I saw nothing except a handful of people in Colombo,” Sarkar said of her impressions of the Sri Lankan capital. “The whole place was very calm.”

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