anti govt rally in sri lanka
An anti-government protest rally in Colombo, Sri Lanka (Image: AAP/EPA/Chamila Karunarathne)

Sri Lankans are facing huge distress and pain, prompting many to take the risky trip to Australia in search of a better life.

But the spike in asylum seekers is not because of a belief that Australian people have elected a kinder government (Labor is just as committed to boat turnbacks as the Coalition). It’s because the nation of 22 million people has been plunged into its worst financial crisis in decades.

Perhaps some are clinging to the hope that a new government will mean they will be allowed in. But it’s the economic tragedy tearing the South Asian country apart that is driving people to leave in the first place.