BBC Ignore the Real Reason for Sri Lanka’s Problems


By Paul Homewood

h/t Joe Public

Yet more grossly dishonest reporting by the BBC:

Leaves from the lush green tea estates covering the hills of central Sri Lanka end up in cups across the world.

Tea is the island’s biggest export, normally bringing in more than $1bn a year, but the industry is being hard hit by the unprecedented economic crisis.

Most of Sri Lanka’s tea is grown by smaller farmers, like Rohan Tilak Gurusinghe, who owns two acres of land close to the village of Kadugunnawa.

But he’s still reeling from the impact of a sudden, poorly thought-out government decision to ban chemical fertiliser last year.

“I’m losing money,” he tells the BBC despondently. “Without fertiliser or fuel, I can’t even think about the future of my business.”

The ban, ordered to try to protect the country’s dwindling foreign reserves, was one of a number of disastrous policy decisions implemented by the now-ousted President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, with agricultural output falling significantly.

It was later reversed, but fertiliser has shot up in price and is still difficult to source, while the government is now unable to afford to import adequate supplies of petrol and diesel.

For farmers like Mr Gurusinghe, reliant on trucks transporting tea leaves from his fields to factories for processing, it means delays which can lead to the leaves drying out and reducing in quality.

“Our leaders are not bothered about providing us with the basic necessities,” he tells the BBC.

The ban had nothing at all to “protecting foreign reserves”. Nor is tea industry being hit by the “.economic crisis”

The ban was a deliberate policy decision by the President, as part of his climate change agenda. This was what he had to say at COP26:

Nitrogen is an abundant element that is essential to the sustenance of all living things.

However, reactive nitrogen generated by human activity and released into ecosystems worsens climate change.

Overuse of nitrogen, especially in fertilisers, has adverse impacts on soil, water, air, and human health.

For decades, chronic kidney disease has been a serious issue in Sri Lanka’s agricultural heartland.

The overuse of chemical fertilisers has contributed significantly to this problem.

It is in this context that my Government took firm steps to reduce imports of chemical fertilizer, and strongly encourage organic agriculture.

The inevitable collapse of tea production, and thus exports, subsequently led to the  collapse of Sri Lanka’s currency and the bankrupting of its economy.

The BBC must share responsibility for this disaster because of its continual one-sided misreporting of climate change.

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Lewis P Buckingham
July 21, 2022 2:22 am

The ABC [Aus] yesterday interviewed some expert who said the cause of the failed state was because of corruption.
There has been a lot of images of people walking through the presidential palace and its luxury fittings.
The only mention I have seen on the ABC about the collapse of the cash crop, tea, was a soft piece about how organic tea growing was successful but it was the farmers who failed to do it properly.
A sort of
‘Blame the victim’ mentality.
The voice over never thought past the idea that it was really the farmers’ fault, not those who implemented the program without testing it.
Sri Lanka had a whole lot of high butter fat producing cows brought from Australia.
They all died from the heat.
The Sri Lankans I know are glad they are out of the country.
As the ABC commentator pointed out, Sri Lanka is ripe for the plucking by China to encircle their potential opponent, India.
Australia needs to assist Sri Lanka with trade, farming advice and medicine for the people, not Jersey cows.
The Britishers that read this know that Ceylon was part of the defense of the Realm in WW2.
It remains strategic for the control of the Indian ocean and its trade route.
We all suffer a loss when Sri Lanka falls off the cliff.

Reply to  Lewis P Buckingham
July 21, 2022 3:09 am

“farming advice “

I am pretty sure they know how to farm and it’s WEF type policies that were at fault.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Derg
July 22, 2022 9:05 am

The fantastic arrogance of these guys is just amazing. Almost every innovation in farming over the last 100 years has come from some guy with dirty hands and some mechanical aptitude, trying to address a problem that he was intimately familiar with. These over educated “Green” fools couldn’t run a chicken ranch for Col. Sanders.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Lewis P Buckingham
July 21, 2022 7:09 am

The ABC [Aus] yesterday interviewed some expert who said the cause of the failed state was because of corruption.

Yes, but enough about Victoria.

Reply to  Lewis P Buckingham
July 21, 2022 10:34 am

“… the cause of the failed state was because of corruption.”

  • The govt was corrupted by the Green scam. They went along with it. They were corrupt in that they (govt officials) accepted the benefits/bribes associated with the climate agenda bull shit; did not fight the blackmail associated with the climate agenda;
  • OR, they (govt officials) were so stupid that they did not realize the direction that climate agenda scam wants to take the world is not beneficial to Sri Lanka.

So, yes, Sri Lanka failed because of corruption (and/or stupidity). My vote is for corruption.

john harmsworth
Reply to  DonM
July 22, 2022 10:12 am

What do they even think they are accomplishing? The world is pretty well at maximum population already, with falling numbers in many countries. By 2100, the world population will probably be reduced by 2 billion or more. There will be less farming required, more wild and park space, less pressure on natural environments and higher standards of living. This could be derailed by the many, many ignorant efforts of the Greens to make people poorer. Poor people are harder on the environment and unable to invest in cleaner and more efficient ways of doing things. They are doing their best to create the future they warn us of.

Reply to  Lewis P Buckingham
July 21, 2022 1:18 pm

The Green/Organic argument has long been that the millions of farmers who are actually doing the work, don’t know what’s good for them.
…. Unlike the elites.

Peta of Newark
July 21, 2022 2:54 am

Good grief, and How Many Times on here do we berate ‘Greenwashing’

That’s what the guy was saying/doing = trying to polish an economic, government and financial turd of his own corrupt making, by throwing green-wash at it

It’s no more than what the Dutch are doing but are Sri Lankan police shooting to kill 16 year old tractor drivers, while the machine is in morion.

Think about that for a while… and the worse it gets.
If the cops wanted to stop the tractor, why not shoot out its tyres it’s not as if theyre really tiny targets or armour-plated or anything and hard to hit.
THAT would have stopped the tractor.
But no, paranoid brain dead coppers, shitting themselves at the sight of A Tractor, shoot at the driver’s head.
THEN what have you got if not an out of control and unstoppable tractor?

And that’s what we’ve got everywhere now, an Out Of Control World – just look at Biden.
everything is wrong

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 21, 2022 4:04 am

“trying to polish an economic, government and financial turd of his own corrupt making, by throwing green-wash at it”

= Klaus Schwab’s WEF policy

Reply to  Old Man Winter
July 22, 2022 9:29 am
Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 21, 2022 8:56 pm

The shot at driver’s heads because of the farming failure. They have been unable to obtain the watermelons they so enjoy as recreational targets. You know how nicely those explode from a high velocity center of target shot

Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 21, 2022 9:05 pm

are Sri Lankan police shooting to kill 16 year old tractor drivers

brain dead coppers…shoot at the driver’s head

I have checked numerous stories and they all say Dutch police “shoot at tractor” or “at a (16 year old) tractor driver” which is not remotely the same as “shooting to kill” or “shoot at the driver’s head”. How did you come up with that? The driver was unharmed and it’s not clear that they were even aiming at the driver. The police claimed he was driving at the police cars which, if they thought he was intending to harm them, justifies shooting; presumably warning shots or shots to try and disable the tractor (like the tires). From most accounts it looks like they were warning shots not intended to kill. Protesting is one thing. Trying to run someone over is another, if that’s what he was trying to do. It’s possible he didn’t intend to run anyone over but in a tense situation perception matters, especially when people have to make quick decisions to prevent being harmed.

Ed Zuiderwijk
July 21, 2022 3:03 am

BBC climate chums. Liars and charlatans. It’s not polite and anti-woke to call out truth, but charlatans they are and charlatans they remain.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
July 21, 2022 12:56 pm

Enough of the politeness! It’s high time these charlatans get the boot they deserve! It’s never been about climate change it’s always been about economic control.

Ron Long
July 21, 2022 3:07 am

Right on, this report. I mentioned a few days ago here that where I live I only have two English (News) reporting options, CNN and the BBC. The two of them are in a race for Bottom Feeder of the Year Award. Important tip; if you are watching either of them it’s OK to shout at the TV, just don’t wait for a reply or they will think you are crazy.

Reply to  Ron Long
July 21, 2022 3:11 am

Worldwide, legacy news is filled with woke collectivists 🙁

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Ron Long
July 21, 2022 8:50 am

That’s where I’ve been going wrong then 🙂

navy bob
Reply to  Ron Long
July 21, 2022 11:38 am

Why would anyone watch TV for news anyway – lefty or sensible? TV is inherently content-thin because words have to be spoken in a limited amount of time that they decide, not you. Anyone with sense should get news from the internet. Detailed coverage of every subject is available at countless sites, like this one, available whenever you want to read them, at any level of detail desired. TV is for morons.

July 21, 2022 3:09 am

“For decades, chronic kidney disease has been a serious issue in Sri Lanka’s agricultural heartland.”

Then their fertilisers must be loaded with heavy metals?

Janice Moore
Reply to  fretslider
July 21, 2022 10:22 am

Not necessarily.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of chronic kidney disease…

(Source: )

And, even if so, it is not likely a commercial fertilizer that is the controlling cause.

… metals in fertilizer generally do not pose harm to human health or the environment. 

(Source: )

In Sri Lanka, apparently, the metals standards are “ridiculously low,” creating a false crisis:

The SLSI had suspended the release of the TSP consignment after it found that Lead and Cadmium in the imported fertilizer were higher than the maximum levels for toxic elements based on Sri Lanka standards specifications…

… the fault is not in the imported fertilizer, but in the ridiculous standards stipulated by those who wrote Sri Lanka’s standards for heavy metal residues in fertilizers.


Due to lack of space, here we examine only the case of cadmium, whose Sri Lankan standards are stated in SLS-812-standard-1988, amended and re-approved in 2008. This says that a kilo of TPS fertilizer cannot contain more than 5 mg of cadmium (or 10.9 mg per kg of P2O5). This is an absurd specification, which is impossibly LOW,

(Source: )

Other research I’m not citing here (too many links will make my comment go into moderation which is just a pain …. what I mean is, why can’t known, trusted, commenters such as myself be moderation-free??) indicates that it is NOT the fertilizers, but, mismanagement of them (poor farming practices/drainage issues/local soils naturally high in heavy metals, for instance) which is the problem.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Janice Moore
July 22, 2022 10:16 am

You have my vote, but some people think we have to be protected from facts and opinions that might be ‘uncomfortable”. part of the sickness of modern times.

Janice Moore
Reply to  john harmsworth
July 22, 2022 4:45 pm


Reply to  fretslider
July 21, 2022 1:27 pm

As pointed out by another respondent, diabetes and high blood pressure are the major causes of kidney failure.
The major causes of diabetes and high blood pressure are “poverty” diets high in starches, sugars and seed-based oils.

There are many well-established reasons why third-world countries have higher mortality rates than first-world nations. The things that keep people healthy – good food, shelter, medical care – all cost money. Deliberately impoverishing your population is lethal.

Tom Halla
July 21, 2022 3:20 am

The BBC would not mention Vendanta Shiva, a vehement organic farming advocate who was quite close to the former government. Someone who was very consistently wrong in her farming advice, but who is immune to the actual results.

Reply to  Tom Halla
July 21, 2022 7:06 am

Her soft, pudgy, upper-caste hands have never grasped a hoe.

Reply to  Tim
July 21, 2022 11:04 am

I’ll bet the ex-president’s soft, pudgy, upper-caste hands have grasped many a hoe

July 21, 2022 3:31 am

Green ideology is similar to Socialist ideology. The consequences of these ideas produced catastrophic consequences not because of the stupidity of the ideas but because it “wasn’t done right”.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Will Nitschke
July 21, 2022 4:34 am

“Green ideology is identical to Socialist ideology.” There, fixed it for you!!! As I have said here several times, the elitists want a Socialist world, with a one-world globul guvment run by them, but of course they will NOT be affected with their ideals, it is only we peasants who must comply. We know throughout the last 60-70 years that Socialism kills on mass, Stalin around 45 million, Mao about 80 million, Hitler around 60million, Pol-Pot around 500,000, (amateur)!!! All Socialists!!!, & with the exception of Stalin, all came from well educated middle-class backgrounds. I recall Pol-Pot was educated in Paris, France, oh how so working class was that!!! Ha!!!

Reply to  Alan the Brit
July 21, 2022 7:44 am

In defense of Pol-Pot. He had a lot fewer potential victims than did Hitler, Stalin or Mao.
As a percentage of the population killed, he put the other 3 to shame.

Alexander Vissers
July 21, 2022 4:05 am

Ceylon (Sri Lanka) tea was very popular in the Netherlands. Even the budget supermakets had Celon tea until a year ago. I speculted that demand had dwindled but now I learn it is supply shortage. The kidney disease issue is worrying and reliable low nitro-oxigen / ammonia drinking water is important, yet that should be solvable without wrecking agriculture.

Reply to  Alexander Vissers
July 21, 2022 7:13 am

You’re beginning with the two assumptions: Firstly, that there is a problem with nitrogen in the drinking water; and secondly, that it causes kidney disease and that it is a serious issue.

It is possible that both of those issues are “fake becauses” to implement the plans that the government wants to implement anyway.

Governments need to understand that they are presumed to be lying or guilty. They do not get the benefit of the doubt, or any goodwill allowance. Citizens need that to even the playing field.

Reply to  Shoshin
July 21, 2022 10:20 am

There is no doubt that if there is excessive nitrate in drinking water it is a health issue. But a brief look for Sri Lankan raw water quality data doesn’t give the impression of widespread high levels of nitrate. A 2014 study that popped up concluded that domestic sewage and industrial activities were causing greater pollution issues in raw water sources than agricultural practices. Nitrate has been linked with a variety of adverse health effects, although I don’t recall kidney disease being one of them; happy to stand corrected if anyone knows otherwise.

Reply to  Alexander Vissers
July 21, 2022 11:46 am

Why do we get to associate kidney disease (apart from the article) with nitrate in drinking water?

Reply to  Alexander Vissers
July 21, 2022 1:33 pm

Among the most common causes of chronic kidney disease are high blood pressure and diabetes…. both conditions that have become increasingly common amongst the SE-Asian population over the last 40 years.

The identified causes of elevated BP and T2Diabetes are “poverty” diets based on refined carbohydrates and industrial seed oils.

Michael in Dublin
July 21, 2022 4:33 am

We have a similar problem in Ireland with politicians living in a little bubble far from reality. It seems some green ministers are on the verge of having a conniption. Our greenhouse gasses have gone up. Emissions are at 1.1% above pre-pandemic rates. We are not going to reach our 2030 targets.

However, we are likely to have a bigger increase in the next year because of the open door policy to Ukrainians and migrants. This year these will increase our population by more than 1.1% Understanding basic Arithmetic would show their green goals are lunacy. High time for a selecion test for politicians in Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic and Reasoning.

Reply to  Michael in Dublin
July 21, 2022 4:39 am

Good luck to you with the last one!

Philip CM
July 21, 2022 4:43 am

(Rohan Tilak Gurusinghe, who owns two acres of land close to the village of Kadugunnawa.)… I’m sure if the poor fellow simply put up a windmill or two, his need for fertilizer and fuel would be answered. s/ 😏

July 21, 2022 7:30 am

The question of what could go wrong is no longer moot. Destroy the economy and the wealthy buy of whats left on the cheap and build it back. Do I have to say better? And the suffering of the poor is of no consequence because they are made into vassals.

Walter Sobchak
July 21, 2022 7:44 am

I think you have it backward. The president of Sri lanka owes billions of dollars to the Chinese. The green nonsense was a cover for stealing from the farmers to pay off the Chinese.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 21, 2022 7:47 am

The president is not an American schoolgirl. He is a crooked politician. Anything he says about ideology is to baffle the western press who are a bunch of American schoolgirls. Anything he does is about money and power. Believe what he does not what he says.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 21, 2022 10:23 am

So where is Gotabaya Rajapaksa today? Did he go to Baja? Where do the WEF toolies hide when their countries go belly up? Is there a bounty on his head? Why not?

Janice Moore
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 21, 2022 10:35 am

What if he were an American schoolboy?

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 21, 2022 9:21 pm

Debt. Think about your kneecaps and hammers because debt to foreign governments is not the subject of consumer protection laws.

Gordon A. Dressler
July 21, 2022 8:15 am

From the above article: ” . . . poorly thought-out government decision to ban chemical fertiliser last year.”

That is, perhaps, the understatement of the year!

The various bans on man-made fertilizer that contains large amount of nitrogen have resulted from the relatively recently introduced AGW/CAGW meme that use of such fertilizer results in the release of alarming amounts of nitrous oxide, which is a potential greenhouse gas.

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is considered to be the fourth most significant atmospheric gas having the potential to induce greenhouse-gas-effect warming, behind water vapor, CO2 and methane.

However, that potential is just considering N2O’s LWIR absorption in isolation. But when one actually looks into the science of all greenhouse gases mixed together in the Earth’s atmosphere one sees that the LWIR absorption bands of nitrous oxide are covered by the overwhelming, broad LWIR absorption bands of water vapor and the absorption band of CO2 centered around 4.3 microns (see the attached figure).

N2O is a linear molecule having a relative small permanent dipole moment (0.16 Debye) compared to the non-linear water molecule that has a permanent dipole moment more than 10 times larger (1.84 Debye). This means that, molecule for molecule, H2O will interact with (i.e., absorb) much more strongly LWIR radiated off earth’s surface than will N2O.

Furthermore, N2O’s current atmospheric concentration of only ~0.3 ppmv can be compared to the overwhelming presence of water vapor (~thousands of ppm up to about 40,000 ppmv maximum) over the range of humidities seen in Earth’s atmosphere, as well as the orders of magnitude higher concentration of CO2 (at about 420 ppmv).

Considering all of the above scientific facts, the current concentration of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere, and even that that would result from a doubling of the world’s current annual mass use of nitrogen rich fertilizer, is and would remain as insignificant.

Of course, so many governments are so anxious to jump on the AGW/CAGW bandwagon as a means of virtue signaling that they overlook ignore very basic scientific knowledge.

July 21, 2022 10:42 am

Is that true, or did you read it on the BBC website?

July 21, 2022 12:23 pm

The problem is two fold. Yes the leader forced organic farming on the population but they also adapted modern monetary theory. In short they inflated the currency so much that nobody will extend credit for them to get out of this mess.
The solution will be to establish a reliable banking system with a new currency or they will have to sell their products in an accepted currency like Dollars, the Pound or the Euro. That will give them the money to work their way out of this mess.
It’s the old problem of far too much power in too few hands results in no checks on the policies.

Eric Vieira
July 21, 2022 11:41 pm

In the European media this is generally the case. They talk about the anger in the population of Sri Lanka, but without mentioning the real causes. I suppose this was agreed upon by the “Trusted News Initiative” which basically groups together most of the word media to have a coordinated, unique narrative. One question I would have though: isn’t this a violation of anti-trust law since this behavior is very similar to what a cartel does ? And we see what sort of damage it produces, especially in the field of public health.

July 22, 2022 8:39 am

And here at the Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightenment we are very pleased to announce that the July winner of the Joseph Goebbels Award is …..Secunder Kermani.

john harmsworth
July 22, 2022 8:58 am

If the kidney patients can’t eat, they are protected from blood contamination. Cured! Until they stave, anyway. Governments, is there anything they can’t do?

john harmsworth
July 22, 2022 10:18 am

They’re going to protect their foreign reserves by eliminating their main export. I wonder what university economics class these giant brains went to to come up with that.

July 22, 2022 8:05 pm

The manifold problems caused by “going green” with no backup plan for maintaining lifestyle are being realized. There are more people on the planet happy with their existence than not so how long will/can this scam continue?

Harry Passfield
Reply to  markl
July 28, 2022 5:22 am

I don’t think ‘they’ are worried about our life-style.

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