2 March, 2024


Dear Economists Please Help Me With The Issue Below!

By Chandra Jayaratne –

Chandra Jayaratne

My Dear Professional Economists ?

Is this story noted below appearing in the Front Page of the Sunday Observer today, meant to fool us and all along with all the the citizens of Sri Lanka and make us Venerate with “Sadu Sadhu” and hands above our heads, the Development Strategy that unfolds in the horizon or is it only a Personal Strategy for Brownie Points in the face of the impending Cabinet Reshuffle and needs to be ignored?

What ever your answer to above be, is it not time ripe for the professional voices of Economists to be heard by those in Politics, Governance, Business and leadership and also educate us, the simple citizens of this land, who have dedicated with determination to see growth and prosperity with equity, democracy and transparency bringing hope, empowerment and improved opportunities and life styles on a sustainable long term basis to all citizens of Sri Lanka , especially the young and youth of today.

The Million Dollar question to you as Economists is to assess and respond publicly and debate openly in media( therefore copied to media institution to encourage this debate) whether this goal of USD per Capita 10,000 by 2022 isan achievable target, even as an “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” (BEHAG) and will it equally share and enhance the lives and livelihoods of all  citizens in the face of the governance framework envisaged based on the following key pillars of governance;

  1. With Constitutional safeguards being violated at will and dictatorial and closely held reins of power replacing participatory democratic governance
  2. With the total abandonment of good governance principles and best practices of administration,
  3. With a total Lack of transparency and parliamentary control over National Resource Allocations and National Debt management
  4. Without any respect for upholding the rule of Law, Effective Law Enforcement and Justice
  5. Without an Education and Higher Education Policy that develops value adding human resources to stimulate niche economic value creation with required productivity and quality
  6. With the export Sector not being supported
  7. Without adequate emphasis on Technology, research and encouraging creativity, productivity and best practice transfers
  8. With foreign investments being frightened off with Expropriation Acts, Rule of Law being ignored and several other visible negative governance moves
  9. With Complete State Capture, with Policy Capture Corruption and Nepotism being at the helm of affairs
  10. With a disastrous foreign policy and abandoning value chain links with India and putting the nose up at the US and EU our key trading and investment partners
  11. With foreign debt being the key source of public investments and high level budget deficit financing, with many investments lacking free cash flow returns and balance of payments support mainly by exporting our human resources as menial workers in the Middle East
  12. Good Initiatives at Conflict resolution and Development of Collective Sri Lankan Identity is being frustrated and seeds of religious hatred being fast spread and encouraged

Please look at the attached statement from the Sunday Observer beginning with the 17th April  “Daily News” quote below
Sri Lanka would increase its per capita income from the current US $ 2,399 in 2012 to US $ 4,400 in 2015. The country would also develop fast and would have a growth rate of around 9% during the period said Dr. T. Lalitha Gunaruwan, Senior Lecturer (Economics), University of Colombo,”

If we assume an annual growth rate of 10% per annum with a flat population level from 2016 till 2022 beginning from the prediction of Dr. Gunaruwan, the per capita GDP will be around USD 8,500? and at 11% annual growth rate USD 9100 and at 12.5% annual growth rate only will the per capita GDP be USD 10,000? Is there an embedded  hope that relative movement of Exchange rates and inflation rates and population trends, like very high migration overseas, will  play a significant role in the achievement beyond mere growth rates achieved each year?

Is this BEHAG realistic and worthy of belief and committment by us as a civil societyon current state of play in the globalized World Order and the policy and executive framework in force or is there an urgent need for a citizen led and developed “NEW VISION 2022″ with Strategic Action Programme to be debated and developed and publicly advocated?

Looking forward to your media based public response?

With warm appreciation and Best regards
C. Jayaratne

Great strides under Mahinda Chinthana :

Govt targets $10,000 per capita income in 10 years


Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake said if President Mahinda Rajapaksa governs Sri Lanka for another 10 years, it would reach the standard of a developed country exceeding the per capita income of US$ 10,000.

“We should do our best to take the country forward by strengthening peace, democracy and co-existence among the communities,” he told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

The country has made great strides under the Mahinda Chinthana vision for the Future.

Therefore, as President Rajapaksa hopes, Sri Lanka will exceed the US$ 4000 per capita income by 2015.

The Minister said from the day the Mahinda Chinthana was introduced in 2005, the Government developed the economy and infrastructure facilities while waging a war against the world’s most ruthless terrorist outfit.

Despite these challenges, the Government could bring down the inflation rate to a single digit and also increase its foreign reserves.

When the President assumed office in 2005, the per capita income of US$ 900 was increased to US$ 2,600. The Government has reduced the unemployment rate to four percent. In addition, the tourism sector has also recorded a dramatic improvement.

Dissanayake said that at present a massive economic resurgence has been launched under the Mahinda Chinthana. Investments too have shown a significant improvement.

“We defeated the most ruthless terrorist outfit in the world. The LTTE rump, the world over is still attempting to resurrect the LTTE. These pro-LTTE elements are engaged in rackets in some Western countries.

They are attempting to destabilise the country again. Security measures should be further strengthened without providing any room to create such a situation in the country” he said.


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Latest comments

  • 0

    This man Gunaruwan is another stooge kissing the back of MARA and was the fomer chairman of the CGR or sec of the ministry of Transport under Dull-Ass.

    All this is just show off and this country will go down to hell starting from 2013.

    • 0

      Dear Mr Jayaratne and Matilda
      You are trying to mislead the CT readers with false economic theories with some hypothetical questions along with imaginary situations based on some current media reports. Or you totally misunderstood the basic economic concepts and basic arithmetic besides the fact that all the 12 conditions you mentioned are wrong, baseless and anyway not found to be satisfied in any where in this earth.

      Please note that the concept of GDP is based on real values (inflation removed) based on fixed prices of the previous year to the year in question where as the GDP per capita increase is forecasted on current or nominal prices that every body understands.

      According to Central Bank official data Sri Lanka has reached US$ 2053 GDP per-capita in 2009 from 1062 reported in 2004. This increase has increased from 14% to 21% annually averaging over 17% growth in GDP per-capita at nominal prices over the 5 years despite the population growth which is decreasing and the increasing US$ exchange rate.

      This alone confirms that SBs claim of reaching US$ 10000 GDP per-capita, which requires less than 15% increase per year on average over the coming 10 years, is easily achievable.

      Remember the fact that the investment can boost the above and in case of fall in US$ would make it much easier target. Thanks to SB for not being a Brahmin/Colombian like you who is supported by some media with wested interests and hidden agendas.

      Sri Lanka is currently a peaceful and lawful country which provides the necessary security for the fast growth at which SBs target (not a dream) that was made innocently and logically.

      Please cheer it if you are a Sri Lankan as a country needs dreams those who work to make those true and be a professional who quote on facts based on real data before coming in front of media or else choose to end up in the trash bin of the history soon.

  • 0

    Dear Mr Jayaratne,

    I am no economist, but a common sensist who would like to help you. In fact we need to research and use our common sense to give some correct information to the public. Sadly non of the opposition parties seem to be giving this info in a properly organized alternative information campaign. In simple terms – I maybe wrong, but should not Sri Lanka, given the current real fundamentals have a net foreign direct investment amounting to at least 35 to 40% of GDP to achieve 8 to 10% growth? Where is this investment? Is it there and we do not see or hear of it? Or is it really not there?

  • 0

    SB have you heard about the Human development index developed by UN. Accordingly, can you tell us how the current per capital income help to solve any of the burden issues prevailing, among the majority of the citizens of this country.

  • 0

    Bum sucking Economists will say that the Sri Lankan per capita will reach the US$$ 10000 level in 10 years to come. They say it for various benefits and hoodwink the people as their statements gets more publicity in the media controlled by government. The reality gets no publicity or less publicity.

  • 0

    Even lamborghinis and helicopter rides contribute to enhanced GDP. But these are not enjoyed by 99.9% of the population. So these bloated figures which include all the corruption and wastage incurred by these rogues and thieves are misinterpreted by cabral and his gang of nincompoops to decieve the masses and reccomend 10 more years of misrule.

    These so called economists do not have any common sense nor do they get their basic arithmetic right. They only count the benefits they recieve from the govt.

  • 0

    Mr. Chandra Jayaratne – Please excuse me for answering you, because I am not “AN ECONOMIST”. Unfortunately today’s “Econnmists” do not understand the modern terminology of economics.

    But , we simple “Jonys” have a better understanding, especially when these Politicians make announcements.

    In the statement SB has made is as simple as this: The Per Capita Income he reffers to is the “INCOME OF PARLIAMENTARIANS” plus that of Members of the Palath Sabas, their family members and relatives and all others connected with the affairs of the “Powers Be”. He is correct, because this is the “representative group” of the population of Sri Lanka.

    He is also a man with “hands on” experience and his statements cannot be dicounted that easily. I think looking back of his past, he has achieved this target long time ago and please do not challenge him.

    We simple Jonys have also contributed and are still contibuting at the rate of Rs. 300,000.00. towards achieving this target very soon, not waiting till another ten years to come. This the “in-experienced economists” have termed it as “Public Ddebt”. They are talking rot. We do not have any debts, because Rs.2,500.00 is more than enough for four of us to live comfortably.

    However, this achievement has been made possible following the “key pillaows of governance”.( points 1 to 12 you have enumerated in your question).

    So Mr. Jayaratne, please do not stand on ou way to that “paradise”. If you too desire, we are more than happy to welcome you on board and enjoy a “TASTE OF PARADISE”.

  • 0

    Mr. Jayaratne, thank you, once again you have correctly felt the pulse of the nation. Most of us do not have the credentials you have and you addressing this issue will definitely open the minds and hearts of economists and other learnered people in Sri Lanka to come out of their shells.

  • 0

    The way this country is going it could be possible. Dilemma is only a handful of the population will earn in billions. Per capita income will not show the level of development. Income distribution may become worse. Even now although our per capita income is said to be USD 2399, our per capita debt burden is almost the same. So what is the meaning of having a higher per capita income?

  • 0

    Here are a few more newspaper headlines you could expect to see in the “Daily Noise” and the “Sunday AB Saver” in the near future. ;)

    “World Bank officials get down on their knees and plead with President Rajapaksa to accept 1.9 billion dollar loan.”

    “Colombo central, Colombo north, Colombo east, Colombo west and Borella voters who voted for the UNP, are part of an ‘International Conspiracy’ to destabilise the government and stop the forward march of the “Wonder of Asia” say leaders of China, North Korea, Sudan, Myanmar, Swaziland, Iran and Zimbabwe.”

    “50,000 LTTE terrorists still at large says Military Spokesman.”

    “World leaders beg President Rajapaksa to accept post of UN General Secretary, and request that Sri Lanka take over from America as the Global policeman of the world.”

    “President Rajapaksa gets rousing welcome from American public during his recent visit to the US, while Gallup polls show Rajapaksa more popular than Obama.”

    “Daya Master says Erik Solheim and Prabahakaran were masterminds behind Mumbai attack.”

    “Daya Master divulges that opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe instigated and personally led the Mumbai attack.”

    “Daya Master admits LTTE was involved in attack on MTV/MBC TV station and the killing of Sunday Leader editor.”

    “KP admits that the LTTE were behind the abductions and killings of Tamil civilians in ‘White Vans.’

    “KP says that LTTE were involved in the killing of 14 journalists and the intimidation of 28 others including the disappearance of Prageeth Eknaligoda.”

    “LTTE responsible for the killing of American President John F.Kennedy says George Master.”

    “President Obama begs President Rajapaksa to send his Sinhala Army to take over from American troops in Afghanistan.”

    “75,000 American women to start work as house maids in Sri Lanka by 2014.”

    “World wide ‘Gallup poll’ shows President Rajapaksa more popular than Gandhi, Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela.”

    “Tamil refugees say they are extremely happy living in camps surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards and plead with authorities not to resettle them.”

    “Tamil refugees tell reporters they are honoured to live as second class citizens and said they will renounce the tamil language and learn sinhalese.”

    “President Rajapaksa & Offence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa did not receive Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 due to an International Conspiracy.”

  • 0

    I am sure the answer to the whole matter is now being dealt by the
    Economist in Point Pedro?. Worth waiting.
    Any group of intellectuals will not be able to help, as an example of the
    work done by the APRC into the vital “national issue” was thrown into
    his Waste Paper basket. To play for time, such Committee will be set
    up again, including consultation with an unnamed Professor in New
    Zeland! (recall this Impeachment Committee?). When the intelligentsia
    is subject to cheating, the villagers can be fed with any figure – USD
    4000 by 2015!

  • 0

    Mr Jayaratne,

    In Sri Lanka today if a government mouthpiece predicts something or says something you have to accept it as the gospel truth and keep quiet or else you will be branded a traitor and followed by a white van wherever you go.

    If you want to have an easy and fearless life for yourself and your family just don’t question the government press or any government minister, MP or any of the Rajapaksa brothers. By inviting economists to respond to your query you are putting their lives at risk.

    • 0

      Oh Piranha, what advice to give the respectable gentleman! If people listen to you and go by your advice, this will soon become their (Rajapakshalage) country and not ours!

  • 0

    Dear Mr. Jayaratne,
    The list of 12 is complete for a perfect brew to be made by the 4 witches. The country will get a foretaste this year itself.

    Forty years back, the then Finance Minister told the Singaporeans, forget all your economics, what the country needs are honesty, perseverance and thrift. Today she has the third highest per capita income at US $ 59,937. Fifty years back a rupee bought one S$. Today less than a cent for one robust rupee is the rate.

    There are other indices. Public sector employment in SRI lanka is 1.232 million. Minor employees in semi – government institutions in 2011 were 99,909 making 40.6% in that segment. Developed economies have nil or minimal. They can’t afford, SL can.
    With such lucrative avenues being available, the unpatriotic have opted for illusory foreign pastures, not in tens but in 2 million. Of the total employed in the country they constitute 25.1%. At least 6 million residents from broken homes are supported thereby. With the emigrants, 40% of the country’s population is disparate.

    What admirable regional balance we see in Provincial GDP. West accounts for 45.1% and the North 3.4%. The deployment of nurses at 2710 for Kurunegala and 400 for Jaffna displays equity. Still astounding is tourism performance. It grew from 400,000 in 1992 to less than a million in 2012. From 2002 rooms increased by 835 till last year and recorded 77% occupancy. In the next 4 years 16,000 rooms will be delivered to accommodate 2.5 million tourists. Only stunning performance is called a miracle. With the epicenter of the world located at Hambantota, what is not possible?

    Public debt outstanding at the beginning of 2006 was Rs. 2.222 trillion. By Sept. 2012 it had reached Rs. 6.262 trillion. An increase of 4 trillion In 7 years. Over 1 tr.or 23% increase compared to 2011. If this is no achievement what is? All this money and several more trillions ploughed back in the next 3 years has to yield $10,000 in per capita income. Those who can’t comprehend this concept of investment in arithmetical progression and returns in geometrical progression have to go for reeducation to the HAMBANTOTA SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS.

  • 0

    From a pathetic, below 1000 in 2009,this Regime has lifted per capita to 2500 in just 2.5 years in the post Nanthikadal environment.

    Extrapolating that annual average ,it will be another 6000 over 10 years.

    Do you need Economic Einsteins to work that out?.

    • 0

      K.A Sumanasekera

      “From a pathetic, below 1000 in 2009,this Regime has lifted per capita to 2500 in just 2.5 years in the post Nanthikadal environment.”

      Who did get the bigger chunk of the growth story?

      “Extrapolating that annual average ,it will be another 6000 over 10 years.”

      Who is going to grab the $5,999.00? Have a guess. You don’t have to be an egg head to work this out. This is not a rocket science either. Man on the street already knew the answer to this question because he is the one who is going to get a $ out of your $6,000.

    • 0

      Are you a qualified Economist?

      You try your best to give comments in favour of this regime.
      Now that Leela, Dagobert, Kalu Albert etc.. are not in the scene
      (wonder what happened to them) you have been recruited to say something. Out of 15 comments so far this post, yours is the only one
      trying to support the regime, but ignored by other readers.
      You do not deserve any reward.

  • 0

    Oh Portugal | Oh Netherland | Oh British |….. When our Forefathers fought for our Independence…..they would have never dremt that our country is going to be Occupied by Our Own Power Hungry, Power Crazy, Greedy, selfish,Pervert, Thug, Murderers, Drug dealers, Thieves, Uneducated , Uncultured, Uncivilised OUR OWN SINHALA PAK…….YA PRESIDENTS, PRIME MINISTERS AND THE PARLIAMENT WHO SCREWED THEIR OWN SINHALA RACE AND THE MINORITY RACES, USING THEIR POWER AND PRIVILEGES TO SATISFY THEIR OWN SELFISH, SADISTIC DESIRES AT THE EXPENSE OF IT’S OWN CITIZENS AND THE COUNTRY.

    Our Children will curse us if we allow these sadistic crooks to stay in power any more.

    it is our obligation to chase these Blood sucking Leeches crooks who live on POOR RIZANAS BLOOD MONEY ever sucking people’s blood and country for their own pleasure.

    It is time to Bur…n the parliament for good and give the Country to Supreme court and to qualified, honest and professionals to Govern.



  • 0

    There are two ways to enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
    —John Adams

  • 0

    After March war crime and Sri Lanka within two years another Afganistan mainly run by rapists robbers and joker professors (No PhD or no publications in international indexed journals but professor in Sri Lankan univrsity)

  • 0

    The IMF plays a silent but major role in the economics of all Third World countries. My book, “How the IMf Ruined Sri Lanka…” is relevant to this debate. Please access my Papers in Lanka Web and in The Nation.
    Garvin Karunaratne

  • 0

    Thank you for the highlights. Per-capita income is a totally misleading myth.The total income divide by the population.Will this give any picture to discuss the people’s living standard?All what you have high lighted in your article, if implemented correctly,that will push the living standard up of common man on the road.
    Factories are closing daily due to power cost that means unemployment,Exports are dropping that means less foreign exchange,Transport cost going up that means cost is going up ( Common man),power bill has become unbearable for an average family,food cost are going up…so what is the point of Per capita income that they are talking about even it is US$50,000 ,when the common man has to suffer to pay their daily bills.Has the income of the average person gone up?Per capita is going up cause the government pumping so much of money to the system which are borrowed at high interest rate and that too is counted when per capita income is calculated.I am sure you know this.When these needs to be paid back the cost of goods will go up again.Per capita is up cause some people benefits from all those projects fundings in US$ and their income will be about US1 million a month but average income earner has to struggle with Rs.10,000 a month.
    So Mr.Jayaratna, we should not discuss any more of the per capita income but must discuss how commoners going to live in Sri Lanka with their available income. Mr.Jayaratna you are very right and than you for highlighting all these but please forget their per capita income which they talk about to divert our attention but we talk about law and order,and cost of living and people will understand this better.Any way thank you for your concern and I share your pain.I think we must meet up.Good luck to you.

  • 0

    In the nature of things in the country where even a group of academics cum experts, senior Buddhist Bhikkus have been brought around by Kudu Mervin to prepare a Report to the President explaining why he should be reinstated as SLFP Organiser to Kelaniya, it should surprise none we now have many men/women of “learning” willing to carry on the regime’s bid. Reminds one of the famous interview of a would-be Deputy Minister during Premadasa’s Presidency. The Boss then asked the candidate what is 12 plus 12. The clever man is said to have retorted
    “Sir, it is 24 but then if Your Excellency wants a different number this can always be looked into” and the man was waved off. As the story goes Premadasa is said to have turned and said “I say, Pasky, This fellow has imagination to be one of our men”


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