This 12-minute news report from the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle gives an excellent summary of the situation in Sri Lanka and how it got that way and the extent of the nepotism and corruption of the Rajapaksa family.
At the 2:20 mark, the news reader describes the Rajapaksa family dynasty that has been in politics for eight decades and shows a chart of some of the many family members who occupy senior positions in government. He says that they could not fit all of them on their chart. The Rajapaksa family has been labeled the most unashamedly nepotistic family in Sri Lankan history and that is saying something since nepotism has been rampant throughout the country’s post-independence history.
Meanwhile, a court has barred the former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa (currently holed up in a naval base), his son, and fifteen allies of theirs from leaving the country, because of their possible involvement in the violence that took place on Monday.
Matt G says
And now another Marcos is in power in the Philippines. Are there any world leaders who aren’t hopelessly, shamelessly corrupt?
Applying some criteria for who to ignore — those who have not been in office for long, or were not freely-and-fairly elected (ideally in places with a recent history of non-violent exchanges of power), or in places with heavily-censored or (near-exclusively-)state-controlled media — plus a fairly generous definition of “corrupt”, the only possibility I can think of off the top-of-my-head (i.e., without doing any checking) is the current PM of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern. That’s just a speculative guess; I could easily be overlooking something, and / or someone else.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy might be another possibility, albeit he’s new to office (elected 2019), Ukraine has no (modern?) history of civil power changes, and he has his hands full right now with another very serious problem. A critical test will presumably be when the rebuilding of Ukraine starts, when there could very easily be huge opportunities for corruption.