Sri Lanka: Movement to grow awareness on basic income is starting to get momentum

Talal Rafi (on Twitter)

Sri Lanka, one of India’s closest neighbours, is starting to be the stage for a wide campaign to grow awareness about basic income. Talal Rafi, an entrepreneur, consultant and columnist from Sri Lanka is heading this awareness effort, since he is convinced automation will disrupt the economy, particularly by leaving millions of people unemployed.

Associated with Jim Pugh, ex-Director of Analytics for ex-US President Barack Obama, and Scott Santens, prominent international basic income activist, Talal Rafi has been referenced in Daily News, where he is cited for making an argument for basic income based on the onslaught of automation on jobs: “Artificial Intelligence will bring ease to humans, but would take away many of their jobs. Less than one fifth of jobs lost could be replaced. With half a billion people expected to be unemployed in the coming decades, crime alone would reach unprecedented levels. Self-driving cars, growing online shopping and robots for factories, mean millions of jobs taken over by machines. With IBM Watson, even doctors and lawyers are not safe. A possible solution is a guaranteed basic income for all.”

Rafi went on to be interviewed on Sri Lanka’s national TV (morning show, in English), where he was confronted with the usual questions concerning working productivity and financing. The answers surfed between automation and its consequences, results from already performed basic income pilots worldwide, and the prompt elimination of extreme poverty.

More information at:

Universal Basic Income awareness campaign for Sri Lanka”, Daily News, January 24th 2019

About Andre Coelho

André Coelho has written 310 articles.

Activist. Engineer. Musician. For the more beautiful world our hearts know it's possible.

The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.


  • Selvi Sachithanandam

    Tala Rafi Just to let you know that Awreness campaign for Basic income has already begun in 2017. Please get in touch with Basic Income Sri Lanka country co-ordinator Selvi Sachithanandam, BISL has beenworking with Basic Income India. We welcome you into our campaign.
    contact us at

    • Andre Coelho

      Dear Selvi,

      Thanks for the information. We cannot, however, be part of campaigns, due to our Educational purpose as an NGO. However, if you have any further information on Sri Lanka, we’ll be very pleased to receive it and write some more News articles.


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