South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE) has launched its fifth triennial Poverty Report in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 10 March, 2017 at the Women’s Education and Research Centre. Dinushika Dissanayake, Executive Director of Law & Society Trust (LST), Colombo, released the report at the concluding session of the first South Asian Thinkers Workshop organised by SAAPE, Social Scientists’ Association (SSA), Sri Lanka and Centre for Labour Studies (CLS), India. 

The report was titled ‘South Asia and the Future of Pro-People Development: The Centrality of Social Justice and Equality’. SAAPE has been publishing the triennial South Asia Poverty Report since 2003. At a moment when market is projected and glorified as the emancipator of all miseries, the SAAPE Poverty Report brought out the view that market glorification has multiplied peoples’ misery in South Asia, paved the way for feudal and fundamentalist forces to grow and the corporate sector to loot the common resources in the region. The report argued that obsession with ‘growth economics’ designed under the neo-liberal model has resulted only in intensification of inequality which in the long run has provided fertile grounds towards breeding extreme ideas of religious fundamentalism. This is at the heart of violence and repression that minorities of all kinds are subjected to. The idea that market will correct imbalances through demand and supply has led to the gradual withdrawal of state from publicly providing services like education and health. Depleting investment and state support has resulted in a crisis in agriculture, compromising food security and farmer’s livelihood. Growing informalisation of labour added on to the misery of the people.

The launch of the report was attended by all the participants of the thinker’s workshop, drawn from activism, academia and advocacy, from the south Asian countries. 

Click here to download the report.