18 August, 2019

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A Wake Up Call: An Open Letter To State Minister Of Finance & State Minister Of National Policies & Economic Affairs

By Chandra Jayaratne

Chandra Jayaratne

An Open Letter to the State Minister of Finance & State Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, Copied to the President, Prime Minister & Finance Minister

Dear Younger, Professional and People’s/Nation’s Prosperity Committed State Ministers,

“A Wake Up Call”: Urgent Need for Change Management Leadership Initiatives to Rebalance Growth Priorities & Expert/Lobbyist Advice with Political Realities & Expectations of the Marginalized

This appeal is to review this submission, reflecting back on the guiding principles and value commitments that compelled you to enter politics and seek a mandate to be People’s Representatives, instead of continuing with your respective high reward option careers in the private sector.

In the above context, please reflect on the following recent statements of acknowledged experts, which you have surely made note of already:

1.Sri Lanka has to keep on a path of reducing budget deficits, broaden revenues, keep the exchange rate flexible to conserve forex reserves and move towards inflation targeting. Sri Lanka has high debt and low tax revenues which have made previous episodes of global downturns difficult to navigate. Sri Lanka is vulnerable because of its current account deficit, low US dollar reserves position and high debt rollover requirement ” -Eteri Kvintradze, IMF Resident Representative Sri Lanka.

2.Prepare for the Unexpected Risks”- “I don’t think we can stop being vigilant. There are good reasons why people are feeling happier, why the global economy is doing better, but I think on the financial side we’re far from saying we’re in the clear. And with the asset prices very heavy, with leverage up, the risks are not small.- December 2017– Raghuram Rajan, the former governor of the Reserve Bank of India.

3.World Unprepared for Next Financial Crisis” –“One of the consequences of the crisis has been completely underestimated, in my opinion: the populism that is appearing everywhere is the direct outcome of the crisis and of the way that it was handled after 2011/2012, by favouring solutions that were going to increase inequalities. Quantitative easing (by which central banks inject liquidity into the banking system) was useful and welcome. But it is a policy that is basically designed to bail out the financial system, and therefore serves the richest people on the planet. When there’s a fire, firemen intervene and there is water everywhere. But then you need to mop up, which we didn’t do. And because this water flowed into the pockets of some, and not of everyone, there was a surge in inequality.”- Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a former chief of the International Monetary Fund

4. “Debt vulnerabilities of the country need to be managed with extreme care, including re-examining military spending given the “social changes the country has undergone” since the war ended nine years ago”.  “There are at least three complementary options that deserve to be considered. First, boosting domestic demand through various channels, including progressive tax reforms, expanding social benefits and increasing minimum wages, among other measures; the resulting improvement in GDP growth would increase fiscal revenues. Second, opening the discussion on whether the military budget reflects the fundamental changes the country has undergone in the last years, in particular in the fields of peace and economic development. And third, renegotiating the debt with creditors in order to expand the fiscal space to boost domestic demand and generate revenues to ensure that nobody is left behind. Fiscal, monetary, economic and social policies need to be fully consistent”

Warning against any cuts in social spending to repay increasing debt, also raised concerns over Sri Lanka’s strategy to stabilize the economy by strengthening the fiscal and external sectors, as recommended by the IMF, by rationalizing social security benefits.”  “Trying to achieve fiscal adjustment by reducing public expenditure in education, health and social transfers actually hinders long-term development and may have negative effects on social and economic stability,” “It is my view that such cuts should at least be compensated through cash transfers targeting those in need and ensuring that they reach the beneficiaries in a timely and efficient manner. Investments in the rural economy should be directed at supporting the livelihoods of these small-scale producers including technology transfers, market access and physical and natural resources, so they will be resilient against these subsidy reductions.”“In my view, while maintaining macroeconomic stability is an important concern, this aim should not prevent human rights assessments of these planned reforms, in line with international human rights standards.”  “While commending the Government on its effort to streamline taxes, he called for further measures to be taken to broaden the tax base and curb money laundering. He also advocated that the Government close the legal gap that exists to enlist the help of the banking system to curb tax evasion. In his preliminary report he also raised concerns over increases in VAT noting that “the cost of such tax is borne by the poorest part of the population.” According to the report in 2017 the Government raised 56.5% more revenue from VAT than it did in 2016.”- United Nations Independent Expert on Foreign Debt and Human Rights, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky,

5.Government measures to address countrywide indebtedness were insufficient. The Government should establish a proper legal framework to regulate microfinance institutions to cap interest rates and prevent abusive collection practices. The moratorium would prevent vulnerable groups, particularly women, from exploitation and abuse by lenders”. UN Independent Expert on Foreign Debt and Human Rights, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky

Please next reflect on the under noted, few heart-wrenching stories from the Gammadda door-to-door campaign:

1. SRI LANKANS LIVING IN TREES HAMBANTHOTA DISTRICT – WALSAPUNAGALA 

The Walsapunagala village is one of the border villages that constantly face the threat from Wild Elephants. In addition, they also face a drinking water problem. Parents claim they fear sending their children to school because of the elephants that come into the village by night destroy property rendering them helpless. Since this village is not protected by an electric fence, wild elephants encroach the village, which has forced villagers to seek refuge in small, unsafe shacks which have been built on tree tops. 

 THE MAIN ISSUE HERE SEEMS TO BE ILLEGAL CULTIVATIONS IN PROTECTED FORESTS BY BUSINESSMEN BASED IN COLOMBO, THAT DISPLACES ELEPHANTS FROM THERE NATURAL HABITAT.

 (RESIDENTS REQUEST AN ELECTRIC FENCE IN ORDER FOR THEM TO LIVE WITHOUT THE FEAR OF WILD ELEPHANT ATTACKS) 


2. BATTICALOA DISTRICT    –  PERIYAPULLAMALAI      

There are around 600 students receiving education at the Periyapullamalai Mixed Roman Catholic School in the Chenkalady Divisional Secretariat. There are 9 teachers in this school. These classrooms do not have the adequate amount of desks and chairs for the children. The school does not have a wall or a fence.

(THE PRIME REQUEST OF AREA RESIDENTS IS A SAFE ENVIORENMENT FOR THEIR CHILDREN TO BE EDUCATED IN AS WELL AS A PROPER PREMISES TO STUDY IN.)


3.  BATTICALOA DISTRICT  – JAMIYULLA

Garbage is moved close to the Jamiyulla Sirin School located near the Kaththankudi Lagoon as a result of people disposing it into the lagoon.  As a result the children are forced to educate themselves in a contaminated environment

(RESIDENTS REQUEST AUTHORITIES TO CLEAN UP THE GARBAGE SURROUNDING THE SCHOOL)

4. KILINOCHI DISTRICT – NACHCHIKUDA 

Even after they walk for miles and find water, that water is not pure and is not suitable for human consumption. This village in Kilinochchi, the Nachchikuda village, is a perfect example to depict how people suffer as a result of the unavailability of clean drinking water. The area is currently facing a drought condition. The villagers say that they are sometimes unable to bear the heat and that they lose consciousness as a result.

(RESIDENTS REQUEST CLEAN DRINKING WATER)

5. POLONNARUWA DISTRICT  – BISOBANDARAGAMA 

 People living in the Biso-bandaragama village have long suffered from the Kidney diseases. The reason behind their suffering is the lack of clean drinking water. According to the villagers the situation in the village is so bad that it is almost impossible to find a household without a single kidney patient.  A large number of deaths caused by kidney disease were reported recently from the area. The increase in the number of Kidney patients can be clearly gauged by the fact that even before the white flags raised for one funeral are lowered, the flags for the next victim of the disease are being put up. 

(RESIDENTS REQUEST CLEAN DRINKING WATER WHICH WOULD IN TURN REDUCE KIDNEY DISEASES) 

06. MATALE DISTRICT – RANWEDIYAGAMA

These images depict the hardships people have to undergo when they do not have a proper road to travel on. The people of this village claim a bridge which was built had become unusable around 5 years ago. Residents also claim that this bridge was the only access route to the village of Kosthota and since it had been destroyed, two lives had already been lost after they were washed away by strong currents.

(RESIDENTS REQUEST A BRIDGE IN ORDER FOR THEM TO CROSS SAFELY INTO THE MAINLAND)

07. TRINCOMALEE DISTRICT – KINNIYA GENGEA  

Residents of the Gengea Village who frequently face Elephant attacks are made to live in fear. One house that is located in the village is home to a elderly lady who is paralyzed and is also a mother.

(RESIDENTS REQUEST A FERRY TO TRAVEL TO AND FROM THEIR VILLAGE) 

These are just a few, out of hundreds of such stories narrated by villagers during the Gammadda door-to-door campaign, depicting the crying out expectations and the plight of the unseen, ignored voters you vouched to represent, dear State Ministers.

The problems highlighted by the villagers of the marginalized segments of our society, appear to be simple to resolve, as it requires only a minute fraction of the resources currently committed and allocated through the national budget, which are in fact  controlled and directed under your oversight.

Yet the tasks at hand appear too complex at the same time and may be even too small and of limited consequences in the eyes and minds of those in political governance leadership positions. The priorities, focus and commitments of these political heavy weights appear regrettably to favour personally and politically rewarding large scale infrastructure projects, mega polis and city/financial development projects and business sector promoted growth projects. This misaligned focus is evident when looking at the support and attention generated in the top echelons of political governance in supporting the ‘Fast Track to a Turn Around’ Economic Summit, Global and Asean Economic Forums, the World Cities Summit, International Maritime Conference and Most Admired Leaders and Companies Awards Ceremonies, where leaders are themselves adorned with accolades and admiration awards.

It is apparent that he present political system sustains party politics and not development politics. This has resulted in decades of neglect of the marginalized village societies. What makes it complex is the nature of Sri Lanka itself. We are a nation of thousands of village-nations. One must have the experience and prudence to understand this before attempting to grapple with poverty and inequality. Sadly, not even our senior most politicians appear to truly understand this.  

In this context, it is appalling to read the high level lobbying by private sector leaders against the increased rates of corporate taxation. Business leaders point out that ‘when the private sector is the engine of growth, the state should not take money from the private sector and give it to the inefficient public sector (presume the objections even covers transfers via the public sector to the marginalized segments of society). They protest that some industries have suffered vastly from the government’s decision to increase the corporate taxes to 28 percent.

The private sector in advocating for corporate tax reductions must appreciate that:

1. These taxes are paid on profits not incomes (ie. profits after all relevant costs of business, including indirect taxes, administration and marketing) whilst all other consumers pay indirect taxes based on consumption costs.

2. The tax revenues of the state are highly skewed in favour of indirect taxes that apply to all consumers

3. Businesses are legitimately entitled to tax concessions and exemptions, some of which are openly abused. Businesses can even willfully engage in tax avoidance and even evade tax by illegal actions which reduce taxable profits (eg. via customs/excise offences, classification of incomes as generated via tax free sources, transfer pricing, and money laundering

In the above context, it was more appalling to note that the lobbyists appear to have succeeded since the Prime Minister echoes recently that the government is in discussion with the private sector to amend some taxes recently imposed, identified as hindering the growth of the private sector.

I turn to you both, as younger Professional and People’s/Nation’s Prosperity Committed State Ministers, and appeal that, with the active support of the Minister of Finance, (himself an astute and seasoned politician who clearly understands the ground swell political opinions), to be the Change Management Leaders, to Rebalance Growth Priorities, Expert/Lobbyist Advice with Political Realities and Expectations of the Marginalized Segments of Our Society and thereby deliver some relief and redress the urgent needs of the marginalized villages identified by Gam Medda.

The change management leadership option entrusted to your broad shoulders is to set up a system to regularly place before the Parliamentary Public Finance Committee, all spends in the succeeding  four week period each month,  above Rs 10 million per activity ( excluding essential spends on health, education, public services; and subsidies and transfers for public sector salaries and loan interests etc), whether budgeted, planned as supplementary votes or planned under any contingency spend lines or as a budget item substitution, by all ministries and public institutions, along with an oversight review recommendations by you both, following engaging in a Value for Money Review by which you mark out all items of spends identified as not essential, wasteful, and those which can be deferred on account of it being of lesser priority in the interest of alternative re-allocation for essential rural village development purposes to redress urgent and priority needs of marginalized communities. For example, options for deferred or non essential based planned spends could include:

  • Costs of ceremonies and tamashas, lavish spends and extravaganza opening ceremonies etc
  • Costs of providing ego centric and excessive security for VIP’s
  • Vehicles and Office Upgrades for politicians and high officials
  • Foreign tours and travel costs of politicians, high officials and invitees
  • Military spends
  • Spends identified previously as wasteful by Audits, Reviews, etc
  • Deferment of Capital Budgets with low priority
  • Cost cutting and waste eliminating productivity options
  • Energy saving and unnecessary travel costs

It is almost certain each month at least Rupees One to Ten billion or more can be found as falling in to the above categories of non essential spends. Many competent professionals I am sure will most willingly support your initiative on a pro bono basis. An all party endorsement by the Public Finance Committee will assure the public interests and essential spends and priorities are assured. The priority spends of the reallocated funds can also be agreed to on a bi-partisan basis

Your initiative upon unbiased execution with professionalism and commitment, will be hailed by all in society and endear you both, the government and the ruling coalition parties as truly representatives of the people across the country. All in Civil Society too will endorse and encourage you in successfully realizing the mission and goals set.

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Latest comments

  • 8
    0

    Thanks, Chandra Jayaratne,
    .
    I watched the video clips with commentary in all in Sinhala, but they deal with all communities – in the rural settings which are so important in making political decisions. What it all emphasises is how dire the situation in the country is.
    .
    The human-elephant conflict figures prominently. My sympathies lie with the elephants; we humans have “bred like rabbits” and all life forms on the planet are hurtling towards extinction. True of the entire world.
    .
    However, what this presentation forces us to confront is the horror that we are all endorsing. I urge all readers to view all the very effective short clips. We read in English. Most of us are guilty of dismissing these people as “not us”. Most educated young people think of emigrating, forgetting all the free education that they have received. Many, later disillusioned, will realise their mistake too late, as those societies react against the millions (sic) who have imagined that “abroad” is wonderful.
    .
    I hope that Tamil speakers will also go through this. All communities have bred like rabbits and this is the result. We’ve got so selfish. We must all die, but we hope for “temporary immortality” through our selfish genes. Religions may encapsulate some truths, but what passes for organised religion is more selfish manipulation by clergy – of all religions. In our country, we can exercise some control over events.
    .
    Today, in my town, the “incumbent mayor” is going to be cremated on the Municipal Grounds. We are forever stuck with the same “leaders”. Once he was UNP Chairman of the UC, now SLPP, but in this town, they contested as independents, pretending to represent the Sirisena faction as well. I went to the home yesterday. The Rajapaksas will all be there. I will not swell the crowds.

    • 6
      0

      Mr Sinhala_man,

      as you know i am one good fan of your comments.

      I too believe, the media and the politcal cutlure in the country has been taken to a totally different direction over the years.- that is the reason even some very poor people living in polathu houses hve long been neglected. They have just created a world state funds have been abused for their luxary life styles totally forgetting the under poverty living people.

      And media as the third force has been doing nothing.
      They just add news rabblerousing rather than focusing on the needs of the poor of the poor.

      Elephant-Human confict has been known to people for the last 30 years.
      But building fences and any other precaitionary actions being taken have not been maintained by them properly.
      And where houses are being builts – arenot even areas that human beings can be protected from wild beasts.
      Anyways, all in all, this country has no national level policy- from GOVT to other, they have been changing any good work being introduced.
      Govts have worked as if their heads have been taken away after getting elected.
      Palitha therawarapperuma the state minister or deputy has been telling the truth on the real issues of the people in elephant conflict. But others seem to have been paying lip service only.
      However JVPrs too hav not done much on the issues.
      What about the other parties ?

      • 1
        0

        Chandra, Sri Lanka is an a Japan-US-IMF debt trap that was engineered to keep the Chinese at Bay, and Bondscam Ranil towing the Washington IMF-Japan line. This is why the rupee is crashing.
        Lankan economists should question the Fake assessment and list was produced by dodgy Nomura Holdings.
        The dodgy Japanese Financial Management Company (with IMF) and the acquirer of Lehman’s Asian operations and European Assets a month after their collapse in 2008.
        Even after the Sri Lankan Central Bank corrected Nomura’s huge error in reporting the country’s foreign debt, Nomura acknowledged its error but stood by its assessment of the country’s risk to fall into an exchange rate crisis any time.
        This Nomura agency is a joke but no economist in Lanka has the guts to challenge it, because they are intellectually bankrupt and in thrall of big finance corporations and IMF Bail Out Business Fake experts. Civil society must take a lead in challenging this?!

    • 2
      0

      This countryshould be the hell on this earth.

      Those funds allocated to former President MR are said to be hundreds of millions.

      He as we see him in TV, is paying visits to temples, COURTS and any where across the country,
      But ballige putha has never been to the areas of ELEPHANT-HUMAN confilict or other far poor areas – why ?
      He does not even think of the need of the POOR people ?

      His other men in the family do the same. They dont utter a single word about the essential of those poor people.
      And other Philanthropists seem to be supporting PARADISE BIRDS of Samantha badra in millions for building up the palaces extending to over 100 acres or so.
      But none of those buddhists seem to be getting the GROUND reality the life of poor go through.
      Charity begins at home – why not those weatlhy men and women are made blind and deaf in term of providing the least for those poor people.

  • 6
    0

    This is a very significant article. I wrote out a comment, then did some other work. I hope I posted that earlier (comprehensive) comment before I was distracted.
    .
    The videos here (all very short, with commentary in Sinhala) are very important. They deal with all areas of the country, and I hope that Tamil readers will also look at all this. We are in this soup together, and we must try to understand what sort of voters we have in this country.

    • 3
      0

      Yes there are also sensitive writers among the few.

      However, people are no senstive and Law makers are the same.

      And media behave as if they have been set STAND STILL MODE when it goes to stand against former goons and reveal them lot more about them.

  • 3
    0

    Chandra, good points,
    Sri Lanka needs people-centered development but Ranils’ Economic policy is drafted by MCC, IMF in Washington by Fake Xperts- to benefit global and local 1 percent.
    CJ, you are asking those responsible for the Jarapalanaya corruption epidemic and culture of impunity and immunity for corrupt politicians including Mahinda Jarapassa family, to end corruption?! Dream on.!
    First priority should be to impeach Bondscam Ranil and streamline and reduce the Cabinet of corrupt clowns to 10.
    Reduce number of politicians at all levels and provinces and fast track corruption investigations of politicians.
    Reduce perks of politicians in the Parliament of clowns and provincial.
    End the practice of providing Duty Free Vehicles to politicians and invest and build proper public transport system.

  • 3
    0

    I seriously wonder whether the content in this artcle can be comprehended by 99% of the MPs in Parliament today who are mostly misfits with poor education backgrounds. This will go over their heads as it is mumbo jumbo to them.
    So sad when you think of the future generations with these misfits guiding SL.

    • 2
      0

      RED – “I seriously wonder whether the content in this article can be comprehended by 99% of the MPs in Parliament ..”

      One, amongst many, is GCE (OL) failed Namal Rajafucksha, the Mongol son of deposed “King” Rajafucksha!

  • 2
    0

    Cost cutting and waste eliminating productivity options

    Traffic congestion in Kandy Colombo has become a major concern in our city. Travel time is one of the largest categories of transport costs.

    Fuel loss that arise due to the idling of vehicles. Along with this, there is another form of cost

    Increased fuel consumption and increased pollution, taking one of the COLOMBO KANDY BEFORE IT TOOK 3 HRS NOW 5 TO 6 HRS ON FRIDAY AND SUNDA, after improving the Facilities having bridges built.

    Travel time is one of the largest categories of transport costs, and time savings are often claimed to be the greatest benefit of transport projects such as roadway and public transit improvements. Fuel loss that arise due to the idling of vehicles. Along with this, there is another form of cost

  • 4
    1

    600 students and only 9 teachers..
    No desks or Chairs …..
    No way it can be in our Lanakawe where Dr Ranil and My3 Sira have been dishing out Yhapalanaya in Bucket Loads, everywhere in the North and the East ..

    Wonder how much a Desk and a Chair cost in one of those International Schools ,where our Colombo Elite send their kids. ……
    I heard the Western Province Chief Minister has ordered 150 Chairs at LKR 6 Lakhs each ,for the 104 Yahapalana dispensers to sit, while delivering Yhapalanaya I guess.
    It must be darn hard to do Ergonomic Chairs for those with Fat asses and Mendis Special Bellies who sit in those PCs..
    Anyway that is a snap shot of the situation in the country after Venerable Sobitha ” fixed” Rajapaksas under the guise of Yahapalanaya…

    Is this Dude one of the Nation’s Prosperity Committed Ministers?
    God bless the Nation.
    This Dude couldn’t work out how the North had 22 Percent Growth after Pirahaparan Left..When the national Average was only 12 Percent..
    That was when he was a Nincompoop UNP MP who was traveling in the back of a Tipper Truck holding a Drunk Monk.
    Last week I saw him blushing after getting caught for Lying on National TV.
    Poor bugger thought it was Mahinda Rajapaksa who included Elephants, Mannar Ponies, Camels and even Maina Birds as trading items in Dr Ranil’s Singapore FTA…..
    Wonder whether Mallika will bring Dr Ranil’s ECTA before XMas….’

    • 8
      2

      K A Sumanasekera who is a joke to all of us seems to be the only guy who has looked at the video clips. “rbh” seems not to have looked at them at all. The article has been just an opportunity to spew out thoughts that were in his head: very much a “Colombian” who couldn’t care less what went on in the hinterland.
      .
      I’m not really surprised.

      • 6
        0

        Sinhala_Man

        Everything begins with an idea.

        The greatest surprises on earth is someone who believes he/ she is good at everything

        • 4
          0

          True. I take back the criticism.
          .
          It looks as though you have now looked at the video clips.

  • 3
    0

    Thanks Mr Jayarathne.
    Let s hope at least few of them would open their eyes LET alone today.

    There are thousands of issues in this country that need urgent address.

    Can you guys living ouf ot wild-elephant-conflict areas ever feel, how those families are compelled to the kind of life styles.
    We the ones live in europe and other parts of lanka – do become exicited for a fall a tamrind leave and AT once ready to complain on it, but those lankens living in wild elephant – disaster areas, have not even the basicr rights that the govt should long have to have addressed.

    Our politicians and authorities taking together are no SESITIVE enough with any kind of grievances of poor far poor people. We have a larger fraction whose daily income is proved to be under 2 dollars.

  • 4
    0

    With so much of urgent issues being with a majority of srilankens, Western Province minister publicly makes statements to the press yesterday ,they have enough funds… for their council, and they would buy the same quality of CHAIRs found in the parliament. :: These men are so called buddhists, that wear pirith noole also around their penises.
    The bugger minister repeates calling that should not both others – since the collections are made by them the council . Further bugger has the audacity utter noone would have the right to ask them to buy anything else… a chair costs 6.lack of rupees (4000 dollars). how come the mentality has been fallen to that levels ?
    What happened to lanken society as a whole ?
    Not few days ago, people chanting, Rajakashe murders come back went amok in Colomb city.
    What is wrong with the nation ?
    Do they at all know what they have been doing ?

    • 5
      0

      Hatharabirikatharina,
      What is the wrong with the nation? The people in the Nation has no options other than electing or selecting the political leadership at all the levels. Only options: Mahinda or Ranil/Ranil or Mahinda. There are lots of charismatic,well educated, well cultures people in this country but they can’t come forward and they will be barred.
      Do they at all know what they have been doing ? They all know everything but they are not worried about people or people living standard or difficulties because it is who were responsible for this.
      So far Sinhalese youth had twice made their effort to change but they failed because they excluded Tamils. Tamil youths made an attempt once but they failed because they excluded Sinhalese. Both Sinhalese and Tamil youths should unite together to break the barriers which stand between them in uniting them. Can they do it?

      • 1
        0

        is it not the problem of NATION ? Ajith ?

        They just elect them – LAW MAKERS are almost like people. They are that abusive and corrupted. Parliamnet is the mirror image of the society.
        They dont know what they have been doing.
        And the educated people stay back as if they are SET TO SLOTH MODE … they will never wake up until the elevanth hour is dawn. SO ist he nature o fso called SACRED monks that have been place above the consituttion.
        And and .. there are so many factors THE SITUATION to become METASTASIZED by date.
        Uni dons cant come to a census.
        So what talks we need about the heterogenous uneducated dominated folks.

        There are former professors of Nalin De Silva together that VICIOUS GMOA are standing with dogs – (J OINT OPPOSTION) for their selfish gains.
        Nalind De Silva factor – is he is promoting SINHALAYA – PUTTING us above heaven as if we the people who should have all the rights but putting down the others.
        He even attacks loudly as he could … that WESTERN medicine is the no truth.
        But these buggers all together, when they become older, they cant rely on LANKEN medicine, but go to western docs. And they even take asprin, disprin or others and uses specs that have been produced by Western world.
        All is not having learnt to realize that we are an another small folks – still a very poor folks of the earth tha need to achieve lot more for the benefit of majority. lankens.

      • 0
        0

        What is wrong with our nation is the budget deficits funded by money creation a remedy recommended by Keynes for a particular situation in a developed country where people were with-holding spending and hoarding money for fear of the future. It was never valid for the developing countries but we foolishly adopted Keynes.We don’t have a surplus of savings but a shortage relative to the needs for Investment.The government is dis-saving so much that overall Aggregate Savings becomes negative and leads to excessive spending on imports, draining our Foreign Reserves ( a form of wealth) and making us indebted to foreign countries. So the deficit budgeting by the government must be stopped ad this is best done by cutting government expenditure particularly limiting subsidies to the poor only and balancing the government budget with a reduction of government expenditure.
        R.M.B Senanayake

        • 0
          0

          Bullshit

  • 1
    0

    Although Chandra Jayaratne addressed this letter to the Minister of Finance & the Minister of National Policies & Economic Affairs, he wants all politicians to read – we hope they do.
    The over million Lankans slaving in MidEast come from these villages. They remit the savings off the hard earned wages home. Unfortunately both teams jockeying for high positions seem to have an understanding not recognise this. Because the villagers are helpless they take this as a fact of life.
    The remittances go to enhance the mode of living of the elites, sycophants, hangers on and the nouveau riche. The elites need armed escorts, fast bullet-proof vehicles etc. Where do these come from?
    By the way the politicians know this but have carteled up to present almost identical teams.
    .
    We cannot wake them Chandra – they are in pretend sleep.

    • 4
      0

      Thanks, K.Pillai,
      .
      Most of your comments are spot on.
      .
      We have to understand that there are so many people who are much worse off than we are, and understand that the crazy way in which unsuitable politicians are selected is because not many people are like the author – of whom I know nothing, except that I remember previous occasions also when he showed himself to be a cultured man who can still empathise with the rest of Sri Lanka.
      .
      True, few politicians are unaware of how much misery results from their actions. We’ve got to throw out this whole lot – well, almost! What we can do to help is to identify the few honest fellows, and let the rest of the country know.
      .
      By the way, keep an eye on the Maldives elections on Sunday. We’ve got to act locally but think globally, they used to say. We can do little about Trump, but this is the time when we can be concerned about what, in a sense is our closest neighbour.
      .
      Of course, even their economy is much stronger than ours, and I have worked there. It was not nice finding that most of them had only contempt for us! What to do?
      .
      We seem to replicate the same scenario here.

  • 1
    0

    Mr. Chandra Jayaratne,

    Wakeup call? They are not sleeping, it is just theirs, people’s, govt’s dumbness/inability that we collectively suffer. It did not take even weeks for US Dollar to go from 163 to 164 LKR

    If you drive passing Wellatatte until Fort, nobody will accept that the national is suffering from economic issues and non-growth and there are people who can’t afford 3 meals a day. But this is a sign that the rich is getting richer and the poor is getting poorer.

  • 1
    0

    The pension program for migrant workers what is the struggle they did to implement the pension system Most do not listen with the intent to understand, if there was some initiative by now there would be a result

    The Philippines and Kuwait have concurred on a draft deal for the protection of overseas Filipino workers after initially disagreeing, and has formed a technical working group to consolidate measures seeking retirement benefits and welfare assistance for Over seas

  • 5
    0

    Electric Fences!
    I am of opinion that electric fences should be installed to prevent Human beings encroaching into animals’ area and not vice versa.

    • 2
      0

      Absolutely, dear K.Anaga,
      .
      Human beings have taken it on themselves to declare themselves more worthy of honour than animals, and, particularly during the last two centuries, we’ve begun to control the entire world – indeed we would try to control the Universe. Human Population Control is very necessary.
      .
      Paradoxically, they have created gods and religions for themselves.
      .
      Yes, Nature should be protected from us. The most vulnerable animals – elephants and leopards in our country, not the dogs that keep flattering us. Well, not all dogs. They can be loveable, but then, we have to care for them – which is not easy.
      .
      Also, there is a need to forget all such airy fairy stuff and think of garbage. I’m sure that in villages they consume less and dispose of waste much better – on their own. When the State starts collecting village garbage, I’m not sure that we are being constructive. How often do we see the stuff being put in plastic bags for removal, and when there is a delay, stuff strewn all round by stray (sorry – got to use the euphemism – “community”) dogs.
      .
      In the cities, the need is different, but reduction of plastics is very necessary, plus separation of types of garbage by those in the household.
      .
      Lithium batteries? What happens to them, finally.

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