Colombo Telegraph

A May Day Pledge: Towards A New Economic Revolution

By Arun Kumaresan

Arun Kumaresan – Air Vice Marshal (Ret’d)

Year after year we have witnessed the working masses are congregated by our political masters and trade union pundits carrying slogans of promises giving hope of better quality of life of the working class. Unfortunately, it has done nothing but only ensured the numbers to remain intact to enable them to congregate for the next May Day. The only way to overcome these woos of the working class, we as a nation have to dedicate ourselves for an economic revolution. A simple road map towards this is to;

  • Build on the benefits arising from regaining the GSP plus to increase our exports.(33% of our exports are to EU)
  • Bring in investments thro’ the proposed trade agreements viz a viz China, India, Japan Singapore etc, etc.- to increase inflow of foreign exchange and reduce the impact due to the debt servicing. This will also create opportunities for new jobs.
  • Translate the investments to churn the economic mill thro’ increased production in all sectors for exports – Industrial, Textiles, Agriculture, Diary,, Fisheries eic etc.
  • Set targets to ensure the revenue of exports eclipse and surpass the cost of our imports.
  • Develop from benefits arising from the economic activity for socio – economic development in areas of infrastructure, health, education and at some point of time reduction of taxes to benefit the populace.
  • Uplift the economy of all regions – north, east south and west and unify them thro’ socio economic equality to overcome the divisions arising out of poverty and other divisions such as ethnic, religion or other informal social classifications.

The increased production whilst catering for the local need will ensure higher volume of exports that eventually will tip the scales of our imports. This surplus in dollars will ensure us to be debt free and self sufficient. This is the simple logic mere slogans will not achieve.

We should set ambitious targets to enrich our rupee to increase the buying power to uplift the living standards’ of all especially the grassroots who enrich our nation thro’ their hard work. (i.e similar to the current rate of Indian rupee – SLRS 65 for 1 USD. in 5 yrs??)

Rank and file of the society also need to be educated the benefits of economic liberation and in particular to the foolish protesters who are being misled by JO/GMOA/TU’s. These protesters are primarily targeted by these groups solely due their poorer socio economic status.

We should also go ahead with the plan just initiated and much talked about to bring some semblance of order thro’ democratic iron rule; if required, appoint a suitable person with clear and transparent terms of references. Singapore and Malaysia are what they are today due to the firm rule to ensure law and order. It is an absolute pre-requisite for economic development.
Dedicate ourselves to practice and implement zero tolerance to corruption and criminal behavior; punish all and sundry, irrespective of their social or positional status.

Economic liberation of an individual and a family unit epitomizes the true meaning of the May Day – Fair Work entails quality living. This day of workers of May 1st 2017 may we dedicate as the start day for an ‘new economic revolution’ in order to uplift the socio economic status of all citizenry to enjoy a better quality of life that is being currently enjoyed by a few –most thro’ ill gotten wealth.

This is the only way forward for Sri Lanka to overcome the social ills we are faced with. Becoming debt free and self sufficient enhances and protects our independence and sovereignty.

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