Skip to main content

Press Release

3 in 4 Sri Lankans think the country is headed in the wrong direction
More than in any other country with similar polling

Three out of four Sri Lankan adults (75%) said that the country is heading in the wrong in April 2024 while almost none (3%) said it was on the right track. The number of people who say the country is heading in the right direction has remained very low (less than 10%) since SLOTS started polling this in early 2022. 

Comparison of IHP SLOTS estimates for Sri Lanka with other countries shows that Sri Lankans are more likely to think the country is headed in the wrong direction than in any other country. In March-April 2024, a global average of 64% of adults polled in 29 countries by Ipsos thought their country was headed in the wrong direction compared with 96% in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s estimates for this comparison were adjusted by excluding don’t knows and refusals from the denominator when computing the percentages to ensure comparability with the Ipsos estimates for other countries.

The April 2024 estimates are based on 436 interviews, with estimates adjusted to match the Sri Lankan population for age, sex, education level, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, religion, geographical location, and sector.

About IHP

IHP is an independent, non-partisan research centre based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The SLOTS lead investigator is Dr Ravi Rannan-Eliya of IHP, who has trained in public opinion polling at Harvard University and has conducted numerous surveys over three decades. 


SLOTS polls the public’s outlook on the overall direction of the country by asking people: “Would you say things in the country are headed in the right direction or the wrong direction?”. Respondents are also allowed not to answer or to say they “Don’t know” or are “Not sure”. The percentages saying the country is moving in the right or wrong directions is based on all those who were interviewed, so numbers for right and wrong tracks will not sum to 100% because of don’t knows and refusals. 

To minimize sample bias, estimates are based on weighting respondents to match the national population for age, sex, sector, ethnicity, religion, education, socioeconomic status ranking, and geographical location. Weighting is done by propensity weighting and iterative proportional fitting (raking).


The SLOTS survey has previously been funded by the Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust, the UK National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), The Asia Foundation in Sri Lanka, and others. Current field work is financed by the IHP Public Interest Research Fund and others. The sponsors play no role in the study design, analysis, or interpretation of findings. The survey findings do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of past and present funders. Interested parties can contact IHP for more detailed data and results.


Date: 20 May 2024
Time: 05:00 PM Sri Lanka Time


Email: info ‘at’


Dr. Ravi Rannan-Eliya
Email: ravi ‘at’  Twitter: @ravirannaneliya