The Ministry of Defense of Sri Lanka has said that the size of the army will be cut in half due to the ongoing economic crisis in the country.
According to the French news agency AFP, since last year, 22 million people in Sri Lanka have been facing difficulties due to a lack of petroleum products and food.
Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe raised taxes and cut spending after the country went bankrupt to negotiate a deal with the IMF.
His next move is to downsize the army, and the Ministry of Defense has announced that 65,000 personnel will be retired this year out of a 200,000-strong army, and by the end of this decade the Sri Lankan army will number 100,000. Will be done.
Sri Lanka’s military continued to grow for a decade after the civil war. In 2009, the strength of the army reached 400,000.
It was at this time that the government took action against the separatist Tamil Tigers and eliminated them. Thousands of civilians were killed in this operation.
Sri Lanka spent 10% of the total on defense last year and according to experts, half of the government’s salaries were spent on security forces.
Despite big tax hikes at the start of this year, the government has warned it has little money left over for civil servants’ salaries and pensions.
Last year, the economy shrank by 8.7 percent due to load shedding, the petrol crisis, inflation, and food shortages.
The crisis came to a head in July when protesters stormed the former president’s residence. He had left the country for some time, and submitted his resignation from abroad.