3 March, 2024

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A Political Imperative

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

Ranil Wickremesinghe’s second budget would soon go through its third reading and be passed without any hassle. It was claimed that 83 percent of the previous budget had already been implemented. But who did the calculation and on what basis no one knows. However, IMF was disappointed with the failure to reach the revenue target set by that budget, and raised serious concerns over poor governance. This means the expected reversal of the deficit to reach 2.5% primary surplus by 2025 would be much harder and almost impossible unless some miracle happens.

On a positive note, negotiations with the Official Creditor Committee regarding the $5.9 billion debt restructuring has brought good news in terms of long-term maturity date and reduction in interest payments. Still, the actual cost of servicing that debt under new terms in terms of dollars and cents and what impact would that have on government investment, economic development and public welfare is yet to be assessed. In addition, IMF would now be willing to release the second tranche of around $330 million from the $2.1 billion EFF loan. Meanwhile, the Central Bank has achieved some degree of financial stability and brought down the rate of inflation from its peak 70% in 2022 to a single digit although that fall has not reflected in consumer prices. If there had been any fall in the rate of increase in prices that was because of falling consumer demand.

Still, economic recovery and steady growth are long way off. Asian Development Bank figures show that economic growth would be negative 3% in 2023 before reaching positive 2.3% in 2024. And according to the World Bank, poverty rate would increase from 25% in 2022 to 27.9% in 2024. Almost 7 million people are reckoned to be living in poverty, and RW’s aswesuma is no permanent solution to the problem. These statistics are reflected on the ground by two important developments. One is the increased rate of malnourishment among children and the other is the unstoppable exodus of the talented and skilled in search of greener pastures. There are several other depressing features such as substandard health care in public hospitals and falling standards in public education. Already 40 rural hospitals have been closed and many more would follow. While the budget makes promises reality advertises failures. But the President keeps on announcing new ideas and visions with ambitious projects like opening four universities to inject optimism among people about his promised Valhalla in 2048. When you are unable to improve the quality of education in the existing universities why add another four?

No amount of foreign loans and no new economic projects are going to reverse the gloomy trend unless the politics of the country is cleaned up. This is an imperative that cannot wait until the President decides to call for an election, perhaps towards the end of 2024. Given the dire situation facing the country waiting for one year to change this government is a luxury. When the corrupt are calling the shots and when the President is powerless to get rid of them and depends on their support for his to survival how on earth could the economy grow and people relieved of their hardship? Just two examples would illustrate the state of this predicament. Firstly, when the Supreme Court has found the real culprits who were responsible for plunging the country and its economy into a state of bankruptcy, the President with all his executive powers is unable to throw them out of the government, because he needs their support to survive. And secondly, when a minister who was on a crusade to clean up corruption in the Sri Lanka Cricket Board, the President, who himself declared that he was going to eradicate corruption, removes that minister under pressure from the cricket mafia. Likewise, there is a pharmaceutical mafia importing substandard drugs with the connivance of the minister in charge, but RW instead of sacking him from the cabinet posted him to another ministry. A sugar mafia gets insider information about planned increase in the import duty on sugar and was able to use that information to escape the proposed increase. On top of all this is the rice mafia. In short, corruption rules, mafia prospers and the President remains an onlooker. How could the economy revive and grow in this environment? Economists and pundits are good at providing textbook analysis and solutions, but they often fail, because the real problem lies outside the frontier of economics.

Sooner the political system is cleaned up with accountability as precondition for democratic governance and a new constitution is drafted to that effect, it is better for the future of this country and its economy. Aragalaya realized this need in 2022, and demanded a quick end to the current lot of the 225 in parliament. What happened instead was just a change at the top and the rot is allowed to continue. The man at the top chosen legally by the same 225 has no legitimacy in the eyes of the people. He may not be as corrupt as his backers but tolerates their corruption to protect his own position. Practically every move by this president is politically calculated to preserve the status quo and not to change it. As aragalaya demanded the country needs system change and the old guards must give way to a new generation of leaders. But those guards are not going to surrender without a fight.

The next battle for the ballot is not going to be fought on economic issues because none of the political parties except NPP has anything new to offer except to go along with IMF. Only NPP has expressed reservations about the IMF agenda and wants to renegotiate some of its terms and conditions. A mixed economy model with added emphasis to strengthen the domestic sector seems to be NPP’s main focus. That makes sense given the destabilizing effect on the external market due to escalating wars in Europe and Middle East. More importantly, NPP appears to be the only party that is talking seriously about eradicating corruption and bringing the corrupt before the law. A new constitution based on secular democratic principles with accountability in governance also seems to be on its card. But the old guards would once again use ethnonationalism as centre point in their campaign. As Antony Loewenstein remarked on Israeli politics, “Ethnonationalist ideology grows when accountable democracy withers”. Sri Lanka is a textbook case of this truism.

There is no use prolonging the current political stalemate with the same stock of parliamentarians many of whom including the president have passed their use by date. Constitutionally they may have the right to continue until the end of 2024, but the country can ill afford to foot the bill for their incompetence and misdemeanours. The country needs a new system, a new generation of leaders and a new direction. It is a political imperative. Let the people have an opportunity to decide soon. A new aragalaya is not out of place.

*Dr. Ameer Ali, Murdoch Business School, Murdoch University, W. Australia

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Latest comments

  • 7
    2

    Sacking of Gota & Mahinda and resulting appointment of Ranil & Dinesh in their places, I thought was an anti-climax for the Aragalaya. Not worth the amount of effort and the time that was spent, no matter what the forces behind Aragalaya were. Particularly the rise of Ranil to the helm. He who was rejected along with his party by the people and has no business in governing the country, let alone being the President.
    .
    Though Anura Kumara leads the opinion polls as a choice for a President, his popularity too along with all other parties and their leaders, is a negative one. This indicates we have a vaccum in leadership. Some good ones were killed and there has been no attempt to build and groom leaders of national calibre by anyone. Politics and access to power has been determined by whose who a certain someone is, not by any measure of merit.
    .
    Should the NPP win whatever the elections that may come, for the first time, the country’s power would be transferred to a class that was marginalised for successive generations, economically, socially as well as politically

    • 8
      0

      Ruchira,
      “Should the NPP win whatever the elections that may come, for the first time, the country’s power would be transferred to a class that was marginalised for successive generations, economically, socially as well as politically.”
      You are right on the money!!!??? May well be the case, No Other Options!!!??? Surgical incision and dissection, the ABSOLUTE NECCESSITY under the Circumstances!!!??? All, without exception are “CORRUPT to the CORE” – THE NADIR OF CORRUPTION IS INTOLERABLE!!!??? BEYOND ONE’S IMAGINATION!!!???
      Well, though it may not be “OPEN SESAME” for JVP and AKD clan, slowly but steadily find their way to success, FEW MONTHS POST ELECTION!!!??? Devoid of Corruption, Bribery, Robbery and Looting ‘UNLIMITED’, prevailing Rampant, is the need of the Hour!!!???
      If, GLORIFIED HOUSEWIFE, Sirima Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike in 1958 have “JUST COME OUT OF HOUSEKEEPING AND CHILD-MINDING” DUTIES could have got the Grapple of Governance within 2 years taking Office in July 1960, sure the JVP may not be BAD BET to wager, under current circumstances!!!
      Sirima B handled 1962 COUP D’ÉTAT, impeccably, collaboration of Nephew Felix D B, successfully quelled and retained Power!!!???
      Balance Is History, Part of WORLDS’ 1ST WOMAN Prime Minister, progressing, become, Head of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) – 1976!?

      • 7
        0

        Mahila
        I do agree with you somewhat about the NPP/JVP as there doesn’t seem to be a better alternative but I don’t share your accolades for Mrs B.

        The 1962 coup was before my time but I remember growing up during Mrs, B’s austerity regime. As for being the 1st female PM, it was fait, just like being in the right place at the right time, so was the non aligned movement, which in fact, was largely a collection of third world despots. For that matter, MR was the leader of the Common Wealth because it was SL’s turn & MR happened to be the President, not because he deserved it. In my view, the entire Bandaranayaka family is largely responsible for the state the country is in today.
        We are up shit creek, which is why we can’t make the wrong choice now & I would be more convinced if the NPP, or any party for that matter, show their credentials by publicising their plans for recovery in detail. We didn’t ask questions before & this is where it got us. Words such as ‘we will do…’ is meaningless without facts & figures to justify the promises.

        • 0
          0

          Dear Raj-UK,
          .
          Life is impossible NOW.

          .
          We are all aware of this: “I remember growing up during Mrs, B’s austerity regime.” Yes, and those younger people who cannot now remember have heard from all of us about shortages and queues, but we owe it to these young people to tell them the other side.
          .
          The World was going through what it then thought was a crisis in supplies at reasonable rates, so rationing was seen as the foolish answer. We all remember the frustrating queues for the most basic items: bread, poor quality cloth, etc. Even for those one had to stand in queues.
          .
          The situation is very different now. The shops have goods. The people have no money. Even if you visit this country you rarely come face to face with the really poor. I don’t want rioting. If it comes, don’t blame us who want ELECTIONS, and want them NOW!
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 483111444V)

      • 6
        0

        Mahila, All fingers crossed.

    • 10
      0

      “Though AKD leads the opinion polls as a choice for a President, his popularity too along with all other parties and their leaders, is a negative one.”

      So far Sri Lanka had an election based politics for past 75 years. We had very popular people as Presidents. JRJ came with more than 75% popularity, Premadasa came with more popularity, Chandrika Bandaranayake with 75% popularity, Both Mahinda and Gota came with more than 60% popularity. Unfortunately, the country showed negative economic success, negative peace, negative rule of law, negative judiciary but positive corruption, positive racism, positive fundamentalism. The question is do our leaders know how to make the negatives into positives, positives into negative? They know very well the answer but they do not want to tell it to the people. We assume that we have good education. Yes we have well educated people and we compete to reach number 1. Similarly we had number 1 lawyers and judges. But how these educated judges became corrupter’s or racists? Did they get it from their education? Did any religion preached it? NO. Our education leads us as greedy money makers and power makers.
      We only look around few families for leadership, we only look from Buddhist Sinhala only. We only want to keep racism. We only want to keep religious fundamentalism. We are not looking for courageous leadership who can make the country prosperous, peaceful and developed country.

      • 4
        0

        “This indicates we have a vaccum in leadership. Some good ones were killed and there has been no attempt to build and groom leaders of national calibre by anyone. Politics and access to power has been determined by whose who a certain someone is, not by any measure of merit.”

    • 1
      0

      “a class that was marginalised for successive generations, economically, socially as well as politically”
      The JVP’s focus shifted to the urban middle class by the end of the 20th Century.

      • 2
        0

        Possibly to some extent, but the bulk of their support I believe comes from elsewhere. I wonder if there’s a critical mass of people from the urban middle class that could work its machine if they come to power?

        • 3
          0

          “the bulk of their support I believe comes from elsewhere. “
          Where else?
          The urban middle class is a parasitic class that is only interested in its comforts and will not make the kind of economic sacrifice needed to ‘transform society’, which many thought was JVP’s aim until the mid-1990s.

          • 1
            0

            So who could transform the society?

  • 14
    0

    ……..When you are unable to improve the Quality of Education in the existing Universities
    why add another four?……….
    An innocent question from Dr.Ameer Ali!

    These are kites.. President Ranil knows only too well that most people in the country would fall for the gundu that increasing Quantity increases the Quality……………

  • 12
    0

    It is easy to say that change is necessary but formulating a strategy for that change is the problem. First, there is the issue of the personnel to effect the change. Anura KD is an obvious choice but he and his fellow leaders lack experience in government. He certainly has the approval of the majority of the people as opinion polls show. The JVP may have lived down the past fears. But, its defects are that it does not have a foreign policy to cultivate foreign states and institutions that could pull us out of the economic mess. It also has not reached out to the minorities or formulated a policy on the ethnic and religious issues. It has the plus point that it avoids the saffron robed and does not engage in the racism of its past. It can effect change but there would be a reluctance in entrusting it with power. Old politics will not die out easily. The culture of patronage on which it is based would be difficult to remove as in the case of entrenched corruption. It would be easy to see the JVP slide into the pattern once elected.

    • 14
      0

      Cicero/ plato, you’ll are right. For any chance of Silly Lanka recovering first we need to find answer 1 ) out of 75 years post independence , how many years power hungry RW , Pissu Sira, Kaputa , each have been (doing own) in politics 2) including Namal, Sajith, Chandrika…. how many left over members of family dynasty are still doing politics 3) how many Mafia/ Kaputa family members are still (or) will continue to do politics If at all , Palestinians have slight edge over Lankans in having a future.

    • 9
      3

      Cicero,
      “He certainly has the approval of the majority of the people as opinion polls show. “
      If having majority approval meant anything, wouldn’t we be living in Paradise?

      • 5
        0

        No matter what anyone says or does, the people still support Rajapaksa. I realized that again after talking to a cross section of the country. Many of them have asked us to stop criticizing Rajapaksa. After the Supreme Court’s decisions on bankruptcy and the Rajapaksa brothers’ direct involvement with their Gobella, people don’t seem to respect the SC verdict.

        I spoke to various people on the side of the road to gather my own information, and many feel that despite the high “opinion poll outcome” of the Janata Vimukthi Peramuna-led NPP is still not the best choice for everyone. Not even average who are the biggest fraction of the voter eligible is yet ready to welcome JVPrs.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A28AlP-Mk-c

        So what RW is doing is trying to do things with the cooperation of the groups that the nation is most connected to. This is not an easy thing.
        My million dollar question is whether Jvp led NPP will ever be able to reach the job RW has been trying to achieve in favour of all various thought bearers of this country.
        . No matter who comes to power, corruption must be eradicated, but the biggest burden of all should never be forgotten is the economic condition of the island.

    • 7
      0

      CICERO,
      “It would be easy to see the JVP slide into the pattern once elected.”
      HOPE NOT and PRAY NOT!!!??? Hopefully, the gracious almighty God prevents such misery to the Long-suffering SL People!!!???

  • 5
    0

    Dear Readers,

    1
    A budget is a proposal on how government funds should be spent in the coming year. This is not an easy budget since the country s state funds were looted by RAJAPAKSHE clan a year ago. People inlcuding tuk tuk drivers i spoke made very clear, they suffered a lot under GOTA govt and with the dawn of RW s presidency, they were relieved. This is what cabdrivers, small restaurant holders, retail shop owners across the country shared me within last 5 days.

    In order to go for it, the approval of the majority of the parliament is required. I think MPs will do the job properly. If not, this country will surely be thrown into a real mess. YouTubers are usually hyperbole targeting their interests and dollars, however, I feel that even though people across the country are facing economic hardships, the devil is not as black as YouTubers and NPPs paint it.

    In today’s politically disillusioned country, due to its own misadministration, everything is being looted by a bunch of crooks, and even if they are powerful, it will not be easy to perform miracles. I don’t just point fingers at politicians because I know people are very corrupt. Politicians are just the mirror image of the thoughts of the majority of people.

    tbc

  • 5
    0

    2
    I tried using regular public transport for short distances to get from A to B to get an idea only, where I realized that the bus conductors and drivers behave like thugs. I was appalled at not being able to cross the road using the zebra stripes because I was not holding on to speeding vehicles as I crossed the main road. I felt that the people of this country are largely uncivilized and should be subject to strict law and order. The rail gate crossing was blocked, but people still walked from a to b, unable to wait for the train to move. can you imagine?

    The Janata Vimukti Peramuna-led NPP points the finger at the current president using even low level sexual innuandos, as if they (crying babies) could have been better at solving the economic hole nation is fallen into due to restructuring, and other measures, however those with some sanity will not be easily misled this time.
    My friends who are experts in economics believe that even seasoned politicians will not be able to come up with proper solutions to recover from the economic disaster caused by the mismanagement of the Rajapaksa brothers with their hegemonists. SO HOW WOULD IMMATURE LEADERS LED NPP MAKE WONDERS ?

    tbc

  • 4
    0

    3
    Today, I myself observed a political rally held by NPP organizers in Kalutara where not even 200 attended. I was surprised at the low turnout even though the SRILANKEN YouTube channel owners display an incredible number of participants. Cyber criminals make it in favour of NPPrs, so that the message COULD work on the unexpected…. that is again a fraud to my eyes.
    I respect disipline and law and order however, if JVP led groups manipulate the numbers to grab power on to them, that is again a threat to srilankens that respect democratic governance.

    At that time AKD was delivering his traditional lecture before the gathering and I joined as a passive participant for 10 min. I spoke to a few people nearby to get my own information. To my surprise, about 1 in 50 agreed to vote NPP in the next election. Many others were speechless and some said many would be hanged if the NPP was elected. People have some fears to JVP led groups.

    One tuk tuk driver asked me if it is okay to abstain from voting for anyone next time. I recommended him to vote for good politicians regardless of party affiliation. But not being swayed by any retail offer like a drink, a condom, forced him to use his brain.

    • 8
      1

      Dear LM: ” I myself observed ………NPP rally in Kaluthara……not even 200 attended”. If the following link appears (meaning not taken off) your counting has been very erratic and a deliberate lie. To begin with, you must know the difference between a “RALLY” and a “SEMINAR”. What was held in Kaluthara was a “SEMINAR” organized by the “Ex-Tri-Forces” men and women called “ADITANA” affiliated to NPP. AKD was a “Guest Speaker” and all other speakers were retired personnel from the “Armed Forces”. Please note it was not a “Political Rally”. Another hilarious “LIE’ – ” 1 in 50″ agreed to vote NPP. Thank you for doing that “SURVEY” which goes to prove your capacity in providing a “JOKES”. How I missed you in Kaluthara among a gathering of more than 1000s.

      The link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbwuX6B0mM

      • 2
        1

        Dear Douglas,
        .
        Before anything else let me give you another link to the Kaluthara meeting since the one you gave me didn’t work. The meeting is the one that you refer to, but this may have been a different filming, with another camera, so you will see the same thing, with the same words used by the speakers, but with the camera focussed on different people:
        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTU-x6S7D2M
        .
        If this doesn’t work, I will telephone the Head Office of the NPP in Pelawatte, Battaramulla, and get their advice. My actions will be as straightforward and rational as that. I shall give this imposter who turns up occasionally from “Central Europe” and tells us lies, the roasting that he deserves. After all, I know exactly who he is and the town where his wife and he live (but not the street name, nor the house number because I don’t know them.)
        .
        But if I do that, the cry baby will report me to the Editor of Colombo Telegraph. Think back to your school-days, and some weak guys used to complain to the Principal.
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe, 51B, Golf Links Road, Bandarawela (Does LM need the Google map?)

        • 2
          2

          Douglas,
          .
          The link works; I’ve tested after posting – 3 hours 41 minutes.
          .
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTU-x6S7D2M
          .
          5,881 views Streamed live on 2 Dec 2023 #nppsrilanka #tfc
          #nppsrilanka #nppsrilanka #tfc
          | NPP Srilanka | TFC | 2023.12.02
          .
          I’m not watching this, since what is said at meetings is repetitive, with a few variations.
          .
          Twenty-four comments at 05:14 Lankan time on 04/12/2023. I shall make it 25 by adding one right now. In getting comments displayed you can opt for “Newest First” instead of “Top Comment”. Since my comments are in English, they never become the Top Comment.
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela

          • 3
            0

            Dear S_M: Thank you. The link works. I would ask the readers to watch the link and make a “COUNT” of that “200” attendees, our friend Leelage Malli has counted.

            Also how “LM” “SURVEYED” that “1-50” would vote NPP?

            LM: You can tell a “lie” innocently, but don’t tell GAL PELENA BORU and qualify to be our legendary “CHETHIYA KING”.

            Thank you again Dear S-M for that link.

      • 2
        0

        Dear OC, NV, SJ and the other rational thinkers@

        I have only reported what my eyes caught yesterday afternoon. It is the right of anyone whose pure observations allowed them. Without studying it, Douglas ( I never thought Douglas would fall that low level?????) and Bandarawella joker to exaggerate it is beyond bearing.

        These both may be hallozinated by JVP waves, but we the ones whose lovely ones were hacked to death in 89 are facing torments of tantalus yet today in terms of the justice. If SM’s intention is to reveal my information to kill me, CT has every right to block him. This man named SM is a dangerous person (he was named after SNAKE MAN by some good commenters in the recent times) who does not think twice to attack those who disagree with him.
        .

        tbc

        • 2
          0

          cont.
          Besides, if freedom of speech is not allowed, it should be a prison. I think to that level, our state is not yet reached.

          However, signs are there the future state to near that levels. I am not from central europe, but I travel across the globe for my job. So, Bandarawella joker or anyone to attack me would be a dream. They are like frogs in wells catch it from the wrong end as usual. In fact, I asked many not to abstain from voting but to vote not only NPPrs but to any other good candidates they think is right. I am impatial srilanken. I should have my own thoughts. I am not a slave like Bandarawella Wikataya.
          .
          Just to have said the truth about the number of attendees of the seminar held in Kaluthara (North) (at 2 pm) to oversetimate is a greater mistake of JVPrs.

          And the supporters like BANDARAWELLA revengeful man to expose my whereabouts clearly hint us that the KIND of JVP promoters force them to fall back to their 1989-persecution mode.That will boomerang on them for negative achievements for sure.

          tbc

          • 2
            0

            cont.
            .
            2
            In fact, in those days, regardless of age, status or whatever, anyone who resisted was brutally hacked to death. NPP is losing a lot more voters because of these actions by cheap intellectuals like SM: People I spoke to indicated that their fear of JVP is similar to that of those facing the death penalty. This is the sad truth about my facts.
            .
            How primitive is a man in his mid 70’s who supposedly taught at a famous School (St. Thomas) to act like some rascals?

            It reflects this society full of ULTRA beasts in human disguise.
            During my visit to Sri Lanka I interacted with many people I met and gathered a lot for myself and others who are eagerly waiting for the truths. I’ll add more in the coming days…as I’m heading back to Europe now.

            • 1
              0

              Dear LM: Thanks. Did you watch the link? Are you so certain to tell me that your EYES saw a limited number of around “200” in that gathering?

              You are globe-trotting as a part of your job requirement. Please get your cognitive capacity soon, if you still insist that you saw only “200” in that seminar.

    • 6
      1

      So you say, leelagemalli, that you find it difficult to cross the road in Lanka. You are in good company.
      .
      I remember AKD once saying that over-educated people (like you?) are not able to perform mundane activities. In an aside, he then said, “Professor G.L. Peiris (two PhDs) cannot cross the road.”
      .

      .
      I don’t think that either AKD or I has a strong dislike for Gamini Lakshman Peiris. However, the sort of comments that you now make have made me dislike YOU.
      .
      I fail to see any sexual innuendo in AKD’s above comment.
      .
      Panini Edirisinnhe of 51 B, Golf Links Road, Bandarawela

      • 2
        1

        Dear S-M: My “Kadamandiya” comrades say:

        “Pandithayata Ae Dandeth Yanna Beha” – No Professorial types can even cross a beam placed across a waterway.

        NB: I am not used to “Zebra Crossings” because of my “Amu Godaya” background.

        Cheerio! (Sorry, my way of saying it)

        • 3
          0

          Douglas,
          You will do fine as long as you don’t criticize SM’s God.
          Also, you must watch every devotional video of AKD, preferably at 2 am. You must publish your NIC number, and mention everyone who was born even within 5 years of you. Finally, you MUST mention your (mature) degree in English every week.

          • 1
            0

            I realized in time how vindictive SM is/was and kept my distance. He exposed HANCHO pancha putting him in danger. He attacked our MF again and again. I really dont know why some senior citizens calling themselves be educated behave like street mongers ?????? is that because of sinhala-genetics ?

            Now SM hates me because I don’t agree with him about “JVP magic power”. If he would drink punnaku, in case i dont like it, he would hate me. .is that right ?
            I should have my own right to move from A to B in my home country. This man seems to do anything to persecute me and kill me. Is that fair?
            SM worships Douglas and Nimal Fernando regularly, holding their arms over the man for so long…telling bedtime stories to the estranged man. But I’m not ready to give such services to this man anymore. Jit, Human Touch, MF and a few others left CT because the NIC Hunter (SM) was behaving like the STASI men of Hitler’s Germany. This abusive man seems unaware that by continuing his abusive skills, he himself is creating new problems for the JVP-led NPP.

        • 2
          0

          To Douglas, SM and the other NPP promoters, I am the biggest liar, but please read this below will you.

          To my dear OC, he is the only commenter who noticed that the numbers of attendees for that seminar in Kaluthara North was mentioned by 2 pm. I AM PROUD of his unique comprehension. All others thought I deliberately might have reduced the numbers of attendees in order to underestimate NPP power.
          .
          b>“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
          Gautama Buddha

          ― Buddha Siddhartha Guatama Shakyamuni

    • 3
      0

      leelagemalli

      “But not being swayed by any retail offer like a drink, a condom, forced him to use his brain.”

      Bravo.
      Hope driver of the autorickshaw is not persuaded by red shirt, red book, red flag, ….. or by burgundy shirt, burgundy ස්කාෆ් (scarf), ……. green shirt, flag waving nationalists….. blue shirt, ….

      If and when nimal fernando decides to contest he might consider waving LTTE flag, wearing camouflaged combat uniform, red beret, …… side arm over his belly, …

  • 8
    0

    It is certainly a pathetic situation when the Supreme Court identifies the culprits for the massive corruption but the President is able to sweep it under the carpet. I am not aware of the details as to how this lawsuit came to into being but I would expect the legal proceedings to take its course without political influence. There are civil & criminal lawsuits against ex President Trump but in SL, it’s not only the former Presidents, but even the cronies are above the law. If the NPP is committing to bring these culprits to justice, that alone is an incentive to vote for them but even Dr Ali seems uncertain as he uses the word ‘appears’. I am sure restoring the independence & judicial power is not a problem if in the constitution & the bumsucking legal fraternity could also be included in the sweeping up process for a govt. with integrity, so let it be known in detail in the NPP manifesto as to how they get about reforming the legal system, otherwise, it would be just like the fizz in a soda bottle, only to be told that no action is possible due to ‘lack of evidence’.

    ”Sooner the political system is cleaned up with accountability as precondition for democratic governance and a new constitution is drafted to that effect, it is better for the future of this country and its economy”. Amen to that. NPP, why don’t you publish your action plan with a time frame included?

    • 4
      2

      Why don’t you launch your own Party, dear Raj-UK?
      .
      I regard you as a decent and honest man. When such a man as you contests the election with a convincing plan to run the country, it is not only I, even “leelagemalli” will seriously consider voting for you!
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe of Bndarawela (NIC 48 3111 444V)

      • 1
        0

        Panini Edirisinhe of Bndarawela (NIC 48 3111 444V)

        I don’t know how you, like senior citizens, are proposing Raj or the like decent individucals, just because of them being good commenters. Sri Lankan political contenders must come with various other qualities, such as being able to handle a rowdy dominating rank and file. I don’t think Raj would have that power. He is good to be a candidate in UK or any other civilized European country, but not in Sri Lanka.
        .
        Although I partially agree with Raj, I am not always in favor of his thoughts. rAJ and myself we do believe, NPP would not be able to make wonders once they come to power.
        I feel the GG government did their job best, however, the joint opposition (the powerful party in power at the time) dominated by the rascals did not allow to function Sirisena-Ranil government. Whowever whatever being said and done, what is dominating in srilanka is rascals led politics. So those who have some knowledge interpret it properly.

        • 3
          0

          LM,
          Those who support the JVP/ NPP are making the same mistake as those who supported Gota. He was also an “outsider” who would “change the system “.
          Not even that guy in Bandarawela knows what the “system” is. These are people who still think that dollars have to be moved around in planes.
          Sri Lankan voters are suckers.

          • 4
            0

            oc
            That is a little unfair.
            GR was an absolute zero when it came to understanding political matters. He relied on racist bigots to take decisions.
            I agree that supporting JVP/ NPP just because there are a fresh breath of air is naive.
            Their political programme is opportunist and aimed at the vote bank. That is my concern.

          • 1
            0

            OC,

            I don’t know what Bandarawella guy is talking about. He is persecuting me today for some reason. I owe him nothing. His engagement in CT is obvioulsy killing his time.
            His assumptions usually become facts for some, but not for me. What assurance can he give that NPP INTERLLECTUALS are better than Gota’s Viatmaga? As far as I know, most of them are theorists. Srilanken politics is not easy if you woul dnot consider true nature of a cross section of society.
            As CT readers know it, Bandarawela man is good at talking about someone’s family tree, but he doesn’t seem to know how to comment on the topic being addressed. Fundamentals are far from the poor man. At the begning on I asked him to go and see a PSYCHOLOGIST. However, the kind of pseudo pundits would not listen to anyone.

        • 0
          2

          desperateasnoother / November 5, 2019
          .

          Dear Mr SM,
          .
          you are simply great.If many of our seniors would behave as you do, things would turn out to be all well for all of us in SL. I really dont know anyone that makes that efforts to convince the people of the value of their votes rationally. As many are clear, those who go after Gota has no idea about anything but just hatespeech. See how those commenters for ytube videos act today. Most of them abuse their pen, using vulgär langauge today. They just dont respect anyone, nor would they respect their own mother. That is why indians keep saying, that lanken problems are between two groups – the civilized against the poorly civilized.
          :
          Why should we allow a NORTH Korean style Dictator to become our future leader ?
          *******************************************************************

          It is the penultimate comment appearing below this article:
          .
          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/human-right-to-quality-education-eight-demands-to-all-presidential-candidates/
          .
          A response from LM is solicited.
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela

        • 0
          2

          I’m sorry. When posting the above I have accidentally omitted the Introduction.
          .
          Dear “leelagemalli”,
          .
          Is this, or is this not, a comment made by you, using a different handle? Just answer “Yes'” or “No”.
          ****************************************************************

          desperateasnoother / November 5, 2019
          .

          Dear Mr SM,
          .
          you are simply great.If many of our seniors would behave as you do, things would turn out to be all well for all of us in SL. I really dont know anyone that makes that efforts to convince the people of the value of their votes rationally. As many are clear, those who go after Gota has no idea about anything but just hatespeech. See how those commenters for ytubevideos act today. Most of them abuse their pen, using vulgär langauge today. They just dont respect anyone, nor would they respect theirown mother. That is why indians keep saying, that lanken problems are between two groups – the civilized against the poorly civilized.
          :
          Why should we allow a NORTH Korean style Dictator to become our future leader ?
          *******************************************************************

          It is the penultimate comment appearing below this article:
          .
          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/human-right-to-quality-education-eight-demands-to-all-presidential-candidates/
          .
          A response from LM is solicited.
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela

          • 1
            0

            Dear S_M: This is like a “Divorce Case” in S/L courts. Once it was so “Sweet” but, now it is “Bitter”.

            In my “Godaya” saying it is: “Kalakadi Yahalu, Kalakedi Vahalu”.

            Sorry, I am not that educated to translate the above to English.

            But both S_M and LM know what it is.

          • 1
            1

            Yes.

            At the very beginning CT critics were ambivalent about honor and dignity. However, it was settled with your intervention. That’s why I wrote such a comment.

            But over time, we can no longer respect you the way you treat some commenters (MF, HT, JIT and OC and myself). Why on earth do you believe that I will be killed by JVP thugs? A lot of people told me that RW is the only one who can remove everything that destroyed BPs in the middle. What have I done except tell the truth about JVP, UNP, SJB and all other parties? In addition, it is disgraceful to threaten Sri Lankans abroad who come to Sri Lanka for various purposes. What fun do you get after threatening me or others?
            I have completed some of my charity work during my visits to our motherland in the past week.

      • 2
        0

        Dear S_M: You asked “Raj-UK”: “Why don’t you launch your own Party”?

        “Raj-UK” has not replied yet. But I am certain he would say what Julius Ceasar said on his last fall: “ET TU BRRUTE” with a slight variation: “ET TU PANINI”.

    • 3
      3

      Dear Raj-UK,
      .
      I’ve just noticed that you’ve said this:
      .
      “but even Dr Ali seems uncertain as he uses the word ‘appears’.”
      .
      Old Dr Ameer Ali in far away Perth, Australia, may be unsure, but Panini Edirisinhe, only slightly younger, has always been sure that the NPP is determined to bring the culprits to justice. They are absolutely committed.
      .
      Will the NPP succeed? That I don’t know. If they don’t. timorous naysayers like you, Raj, will be to blame.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

      • 3
        1

        Sri Lanka is a unique and wonderful land. There are more human beasts than those with brains. Imitation is the pinnacle of their conditioned mentality. Sadhu sadhu effect guides them round the clock.

        They don’t question “why”. They are deceived by someone. I don’t know how it would be if there was no free education. My guess is the result will remain the same. Look at Pakistan, their school literacy rate is very low (40%), however people don’t compare to Sri Lanka (93%). I spoke to a shopkeeper, a fruit seller, he has a big belly like a big cow’s belly, and told me that he eats 3 plates of rice at a time (9 plates of rice a day) without looking at his health status. The problems he faced. They look like animals to me. Even children are given large portions, although the risk of suffering from sugar diseases increases. Generally, people do not understand the facts.
        .
        Even if SC verdicts reveal facts, people do not take it seriously. As soon as the decision of the Supreme Court was announced in public, the criminal brothers were seen worshiping MALWATHU chapter monks as if there is nothing wrong with the verdicts – with their supporters start to eat KIRIBATH as usual.
        . It tells and proves how much the most powerful monks care about the justice of the nation. is not that so ?

    • 4
      0

      Raj-UK, this is in continuation to RW going to Dubai with 80, good for nothing retards to change climate. Today’s news , Rohitha Bogollagama, known as one of the most extravagant Foreign Ministers, in the history, has re-entered public service as the HC designate ???? of SL in London and has resumed his high spending life style in less than a few months after reaching there. He was appointed as the special rep by none other than RW. Not surprisingly as in the past his wife too accompanied him. See DM for infor.

  • 6
    0

    I agree with the concluding statement of Dr Ameer Alli that “A new aragalaya is not out of place”. “But the vision of new Aragalaya should not merely be “ Ranil go home” but it should be to achieve Systemic change “

  • 7
    0

    Aren’t IMF; ADB; WORLD BANK and all other “CREDITORS” well aware that Sri Lanka Government has no “Road Map” to “RECOVERY” either in the budget or in a “National Plan”? They are more aware than the local population. Yet, isn’t it hilarious to hear their demand for an increase in Government Revenue without meaning and achievable plans put into full gear to increase domestic products and services? Don’t they question: From where and from whom the income (tax revenue) be expected and collected?

    Haven’t these “World Authorities” witnessed how the Governing Functions have gone stray with rampant corruption and mismanagement at all levels? Can you imagine, in this rotten state of affairs, ADB granting another “Loan” of US$ 20 billion for “Road Development”? That will merely add to the present burden debt of US$ 91 and make it $ 111 billion. This is another opportunity given to ROB and already the “Goons” have planned to “Pocket” a large slice of this dish out during the “Election Year” of 2024. Haven’t they studied the Auditor General’s reports (many) about the colossal filtration committed by the Governing Authorities?

    They (all the creditors) know it well. It looks like they have a “HIDDEN AGENDA” of which the “Local Agents” (present Governing authorities) are also partners in “CRIME”. This SET UP has to CHANGE.

    • 5
      2

      Come, come, Douglas.
      .
      Don’t you denizens of Galle read the newspapers?
      .
      https://www.dailymirror.lk/top-story/President-meets-Bill-Gates/155-272471
      .
      Of course, one doesn’t know how long they actually talked. I linked you to a video of Ranil, Professor Maithri, and King Charles III (who was born in the same week as me) interacting. I then gave you the time for which they met and talked politely. It was a matter of seconds – I can’t exactly remember.
      .
      What you must always keep in mind is that Ranil has been undertaking these foreign jaunts at our expense, not because he enjoys wasting our money, but because he imagines that he can impress our village yokels that he is a player on the World Stage.
      .
      I’m one village yokel who is not impressed; it may be because I’m a few months older than Ranil.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe of the Uva Province

      • 5
        1

        Dear S-M: “Impress the VILLAGE YOKELS”? My foot.

        I am an AMU GODAYA. Come to my village, I will get Babun Mama, Seelawathi, Sumanadasa, Babanis, Joslin, Arachchi Rala, Jamis Mama, and a few of my “GODAYA” (in your interpretation Village Yokels) colleagues to give an ear-full, (in palatable and tasty style) their impressions of Ranil W – the “MAN” in World Stage.

  • 6
    0

    “the Central Bank has achieved some degree of financial stability and brought down the rate of inflation from its peak 70% in 2022 to a single digit although that fall has not reflected in consumer prices. If there had been any fall in the rate of increase in prices that was because of falling consumer demand.”
    A rather strange statement. The rate of inflation IS the rate of increase in prices, is it not? If prices actually drop, that’s deflation, not inflation. No chance.

    • 1
      3

      What a comment from the Economics pundit!
      .
      I live in Bandarawela.
      .
      There’s a glut of mangoes; those prices have dropped, but almost nothing else. So there is no deflation; we see inflation at a lower rate.
      .
      Have any prices fallen owing to falling consumer demand? Yes, roasted peanuts have fallen slightly in places, from Rs 200/= to Rs 180/= for a hundred grams. Just one or two items. But Ranil should be ashamed of himself for that: people just have no money.
      .
      Has the salary that you receive from Ranil increased, old codger?

      • 2
        0

        SM,
        “So there is no deflation; we see inflation at a lower rate.”
        Apparently some Shakespeare “graduates” cannot understand English.
        Where have I said there is deflation, or that prices are falling?
        I don’t have time to write more, being out of the country.

        • 2
          0

          old codger

          “I don’t have time to write more, being out of the country.”

          I hope not on a permanent basis.
          Do you fear AKD’s JVP government, given that his ranking in the recent opinion pole has gone above 51%? Are you going to help Sinhala Man to escape too?

          • 2
            0

            Native,
            “I hope not on a permanent basis.”
            No, I’m coming back. If you want to suffer, it’s best to do it at home.
            But we could help SM escape to a place which has a different system:
            https://www.spendlifetraveling.com/living-in-cuba/

        • 0
          0

          oc
          Is not Shakespearean English rather outmoded now?

          • 1
            0

            SJ,
            “Is not Shakespearean English rather outmoded now?”
            I wonder what the likes of Lal Kantha make of this odd character who haunts his headquarters?

            • 2
              1

              LK is a very pragmatic person I guess.

      • 0
        1

        Dear old codger,
        .
        I have never pretended to be a very sharp guy when it comes to Economic Affairs. So, although I maintain that you confuse me with this talk because you deliberately whitewash Ranil’s doings, I’m going to stop bothering whether it is inflation, deflation, stagflation, depression, depreciation, or what.
        .
        However, your hero is making out that he’s been achieving great things at COP28 in Dubai. That is concerned with the environment and climate change. When Ranil took charge, various fizzy drinks, which I usually avoid (owing to my poverty) were still available in glass bottles. Not any more! It’s plastics all the way!
        .
        https://www.adaderana.lk/news.php?nid=95347
        .
        The heading of that quite comprehensive article is:
        .
        Only 4% of collected plastic recycled in Sri Lanka, SOC reveals, dated, December 3, 2023 09:41 am
        .
        Also Tetrapaks also are still in use:
        .
        https://www.forbes.com/sites/ikebrannon/2021/05/10/tetra-pak-recycling-the-complicated-economics-of-drink-containers/?sh=e2f1e8a5430b
        .
        In linking you to these articles, I’m not trying to score cheap debating points. The damage that we are doing to Planet Earth is alarming. Irrespective of political differences, let’s stop this.
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela

    • 1
      0

      OC and all,
      .
      People are not even that sensitive about the supreme court verdict and revealation of Rajapakshes and their crimes committed regarding the srilanken economy s fall and destruction. This gives us the pulse feeling of the nation. People are far from law and order.
      Readers over to you, NPP is crying around the country, however, the people s thoughts are still far from the facts. So rebuilding the societ y intensively would be the only wayout to make the real change.

      People at large dont even question about that BECAUSE those 3 Rajaakshes are still out of srilanken jails as if law and order has no place in this country for sharks. Kings of bastardisation are exempted from their high crimes. Not even powerful NPP stage presentations focus on the “supreme court s verdict on the these pariahs”.
      .
      But many of SINHALA buddhist nation is highly upset by an act of dressing the AVUKANA pilimaya structure in ” monk s constume”. It is because myths-dominated society is greatly hurt by that deliberate act in which they made people move in terms of touching avukan statue which is lifless.
      #
      Monuments and statues are man-made physical structures.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXxUsnKgBkk

  • 5
    1

    . “In short, corruption rules, mafia prospers and the President remains an onlooker.”
    As long as our President is an on looker, our country can only DREAM about becoming an ECONOMICALLY stable one.
    We are wasting precious time by continuing the corrupt practices.
    For a start stop the pensions & allowances and security protections to ALL politicians

  • 7
    0

    Ruchira,
    “Should the NPP win whatever the elections that may come, for the first time, the country’s power would be transferred to a class that was marginalised for successive generations, economically, socially as well as politically.”
    You are right on the money!!!??? May well be the case, No Other Options!!!??? Surgical incision and dissection, the ABSOLUTE NECCESSITY under the Circumstances!!!??? All, without exception are “CORRUPT to the CORE” – THE NADIR OF CORRUPTION IS INTOLERABLE!!!??? BEYOND ONE’S IMAGINATION!!!???
    Well, though it may not be “OPEN SESAME” for JVP and AKD clan, slowly but steadily find their way to success, FEW MONTHS POST ELECTION!!!??? Devoid of Corruption, Bribery, Robbery and Looting ‘UNLIMITED’, prevailing Rampant, is the need of the Hour!!!???
    If, GLORIFIED HOUSEWIFE, Sirima Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike in 1958 have “JUST COME OUT OF HOUSEKEEPING AND CHILD-MINDING” DUTIES could have got the Grapple of Governance within 2 years taking Office in July 1960, sure the JVP may not be BAD BET to wager, under current circumstances!!!
    Sirima B handled 1962 COUP D’ÉTAT, impeccably, collaboration of Nephew Felix D B, successfully quelled and retained Power!!!???
    Balance Is History, Part of WORLDS’ 1ST WOMAN Prime Minister, progressing, become, Head of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) – 1976!?

    • 5
      1

      Dear Mahila,
      .
      I don’t have to tell you, do I, that I’m as enthusiastic as you about the NPP?

      PART ONE
      .
      However,
      you may not know this: Felix Dias Bandaranaike and his wife Lakshmi, had no children. Lakshmi’s sister, Malkanthi was married to my mother’s cousin, Gamini B. Wikremanayake. They gave one of their three daughters to Felix and Lakshmi as a Christmas present.
      .
      I know that you won’t have the patience to study all this:
      .
      http://www.worldgenweb.org/lkawgw/gen1001.html
      .
      “leelagemalli”, may.
      .
      Here’s an excerpt:
      .
      “10 Felix Reginald Dias Bandaranayaka, b:5-Nov-1930, d:26-Jun-1985 (Minister of Public Administration,Local Govt,Home Affairs& Justice 1970-77) + Muthulakshmi Jayasundera

      11 Christine Wickremanayake (adopted)”

      • 4
        2

        I’m sorry. It looks as though Gamini Wikremanayake and Malkanthi Jayasundera had only two daughters.
        .
        Also, Uncle Gamini was Dr N.M. Perera’s bête noire.

    • 5
      2

      PART TWO
      .

      There’s also this other family tree:
      .
      http://www.worldgenweb.org/lkawgw/gen3141.html
      .
      There you will find this:
      .
      9 Gamini Benedict Wikramanayake + Malkanthi Jayasundera
      .
      I’m omitting a bit about Uncle Gamini’s professional achievements. We then come to this:
      .
      10 Christine Dias Bandaranaike ( adopted by Felix Dias Bandaranaike)
      .
      Uncle Gamini died only about two years ago. I think that his wife, Malkanthi, is still living. My elder daughter used to talk to Uncle Gamini quite a bit, and I liked that, because for all his abrasive talk, Uncle Gamini was not a bad guy.
      .
      nimal fernando,
      over to you!
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 483111 444V)

      • 5
        0

        Dear S-M: A good narrative of an updated “MAHAVANSAYS”.

        Your skills in that pursuit are PAR_EXCELLENT.

        Keep it up.

    • 5
      0

      Mahila, I thought I saw this post above too. Anyways all we could do is to keep our fingers crossed.

  • 2
    0

    Dr. Ali , You end with a summary ” a new system, new generation of leaders, and new direction as a political imperative ” A new voice came recently from an old man determined to punish the robbers and murderers in this nation, so that the country can live again and he means business as an old army commander they tried to imprison and kill. They failed.

  • 3
    0

    It’s seems all the effort made by Aragalaya to seek SYSTEM CHANGE
    had ended as a FAILURE, with crooks in the parliament still running the show 😿
    SENSIBLE SL citizens wants to see the Judicial system to be independent of political interference. Promotions should depend on how they have given judgements in the past. There should be a way to take actions against Judges who had given WRONG judgements. SL has become an incorrigible country!

    • 1
      2

      N
      Let us be clear about Aragalaya Mark I.
      It was not about system change it was initially about shortages and costs hurting an urban middle class. It was manipulated by NGOs. It only demanded Gota to go home.
      By the time demands would develop into system change (but with no clarity about the change itself) it was screwed up. Do not ask me by whom or how. But, from the outset, people had other plans for the Aragalaya.

    • 1
      1

      I agree that Aragalaya in retrospect is a total flop…

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