‘There’s no middle class in Sri Lanka anymore – money is worthless’

Standing in the darkness of her empty living room, Chamari Silva wears a defeated look on her face as she surveys the scene.

It wasn’t meant to be like this. Decades of gruelling hard work saw Ms Silva rise from a working class background to run a luxury dress boutique on one of Colombo’s most expensive shopping streets.

Ms Silva regularly attended parties at Colombo’s eye-wateringly expensive hotels. She took her extended family on holiday to Dubai, and then Australia. The wife of Sri Lanka’s current Prime Minister was a regular customer.

“Now, all of that is over. I can no longer purchase materials to make my dresses because of the ban on imports. Anyway, people in Colombo can’t afford to shop anymore and no-one comes from abroad to buy my dresses,” said Ms Silva, who reports a 60 per cent drop in customers since Sri Lanka’s economic collapse accelerated in January.


Related posts