Home / News / World /  Cash-strapped Sri Lanka plans to reduce its military by half by 2030

Amid one of its worst economic crisis, Sri Lanka on Friday announced to cut short its military to half by 2030. In addition to this, it has planned to modernise its defence force by making it technically and tactically sound. 

Notably, Sri Lanka has been facing criticism for spending a large chunk of its budget on military. Its 2023 budget allocation for military was even more than health and education allocation. The island nation announced to spend around 539 billion rupees on its military, as per its Budget 2023. 

The cash-strapped nation is planning to reduce the military strength to 100,000 by 2030-end from its current strength of 200,783. The strength would be limited to 135,000 by next year, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

“The overall aim of the strategic blueprint is to broach a technically and tactically sound and well-balanced defence force by the year 2030 in order to meet upcoming security challenges," the statement quoting the state minister of defence Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon said.

Sri Lanka, which is facing its worst economic crisis since 1948, ran out of forex reserve and was unable to manage its key imports, including fuel, fertilisers and medicines, leading to serpentine queues. For health and education, the 2023 budget has allocated over 300 billion rupees each.

After the end of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) conflict in 2009, the strength had been halved from around 400,000. But the current strength of Sri Lankan military of 200,000 is also termed as expensive.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe said last year that military strategy reforms were needed to gear the island’s army to face new challenges.

There has been constant demand of the reduction of military in the country. Many people from Tamil minority groups have been raising demands of the descalation of the military in the former battle zones in the conflict regions in the Northern and Eastern provinces.

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