30 May, 2024

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Economics Of Recovery & Politics Of Reconciliation

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

Sri Lanka is too strategic a country to let it slip away from the Western net. No doubt its post-independence political and economic journey had met with too many accidents and injuries, which left the country with no choice but to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of IMF, which now wants to make Sri Lanka’s economic recovery a show case to the rest of the developing world. Ranil Wickremesinghe is acting as the matron of this unit and IMF would love to keep him permanent.  

It is going to be a very painful treatment. The agony and difficulties endured by commoners so far would pale into insignificance once the debt restructuring exercise starts amidst of economic slowdown in developed economies. Already, Germany is reported to be in recession and the rest are struggling to cope with high inflation, rising interest rates, and supply constraints. IMF itself is worried about a gloomy 2024 and the World Bank forecasts even gloomier a picture and prepares to dub 2020s a lost decade. 

However, the last two visitors from the IMF, Peter Breuer, the Mission Chief and Krishna Srinivasan, IMF Director of Asia and Pacific Department noted with satisfaction the little progress Sri Lanka had made so far, but appealed to everyone for their full cooperation so that the experiment could succeed and the patient recovers fully. As if to endorse their statement the Governor of CBSL too, while delivering his keynote address to the symposium organized jointly with ILO and others, reiterated his pet theme that “short-term painful measures are necessary to restore long-term economic stability” and that “collective policy measures are painful for businesses and households”. One does not have to be a rocket scientist to understand what these warnings entail and their impact going to be on the daily lives of the majority.   

At the moment however, there seems to be no serious challenge to the IMF experiment. Almost all political parties except NPP/JVP are unanimous in supporting the agenda with few superficial criticisms motivated by political point scoring. For example, a spokesperson from SJB said that IMF program would stabilize the economy, but the government does not have a growth plan to continue the momentum of growth. Does SJB have one for that matter? On the other hand, NPP has been consistent in its criticism of the neo-liberal formula, but it too has not adequately explained what its alternative path going to be other than insisting on system change. However, evidence shows that NPP is gaining electoral popularity especially among voters who are young and from middle and low-income groups. That was the main reason why RW did not want to have the Local Government Elections that was scheduled to be held in March this year. 

But, sooner or later he has to go to the people for a mandate. Given the semblance of monetary stability achieved so far with a tightened budget, both resulting in rupee appreciation and falling prices for certain essential consumer items, the sagacious President would like to the maximum advantage of this window of opportunity by going to the polls. It is in this background one should look at his renewed interest in tackling the so-called national question.  

Pressured by India at first and now prompted by IMF as part of the politics of its economic recovery agenda, President Ranil Wickremesinghe is again trying his luck at ethnic reconciliation. More than anything else there is financial benefit to the economy by way of foreign investment from the Tamil diaspora community if reconciliation could be achieved. But he is not going to succeed this time also simply because he does not have the courage to confront the reality. To put it bluntly, so long as the ruling Sinhala elite and the Sangha are not willing to give up their claim to total ownership of Sri Lanka to the subjugation of all other ethnic and religious minorities there is no way that any reconciliation could be achieved.  Period.

Not only that, this powerful elite is also not willing to acknowledge the fact that ethnonational politics had been the primary reason why the economy is in such a state of dereliction today. Even if the IMF experiment were to succeed in restoring a degree of economic stability, sustainable growth is not possible as long as communities remain disunited, disconnected and uncooperative. The past seventy-five years of Seri Lanka’s history had been an unbroken record of the majority ethnic community using its political clout to control the destiny of minorities and in the course of it the economy had fallen the unintended victim. Yet, the Sinhalese ruling elite refuses to recognize the connection between economic ruin and ethnonationalism. Instead, it views ethnonationalism as a strength to be protected and promoted to hold on to the reins of political power and maintain Sinhala Buddhist supremacy. Neither RW nor any other leader from the majority community, except the late Mangala Samaraweera, is prepared to denounce this aggressive attitude. Without taking a public stand against this attitude there will be no room for any reconciliation.     

The situation is also different on the other side of the divide i.e., Tamil minority. The TNA leadership, which commands the majority support within that community and with which RW is trying to negotiate is also confronting a hardened generation of Tamil youth who believe that Tamils could win their rights and freedom not necessarily by resorting to the armed struggle of LTTE, but through international diplomacy and economic pressure. The strength and resolve of this generation come from its link with its diaspora brethren. It was this reliance and confidence that quite regretfully kept most of the Tamil youth away from supporting the a-ethnic aragalaya last year. This was unfortunate. Neither RW nor any other Sinhalese leader could ignore this new development.  

Actions speak louder than words. There had been a number of incidents after RW became President where certain members of the Buddhist clergy supported by the armed forces had behaved quite aggressively and encroached into Tamil areas in the north and east of the country. RW had done nothing to stop this aggression. For example, the most recent attempt to build the Tissa Rajamaha Vihara in Thayyiddi, Point Pedro in the north shows clearly how this aggression has been systematized. It only takes an officer from the archaeology department to go and identify a spot and notify that it is a place of Buddhist historical interest. After that members of clergy visit that spot and sanctify it with religious ceremonies. The armed forces provide the necessary protection, and thereafter state funds flow to construct a temple on that site. The Holy Bo trees near Mc Hayzer Stadium in Trincomlalee, which brought priests from Vietnam to bless that spot is another example of this form of aggression. This has become the set pattern of Sinhalese encroachment into Tamil areas.  Sinhalese political leaders endorse this behaviour on the ground that no province or district in the country belongs exclusively to any community. But there is reluctance on their part to extend that argument to cover the whole island. 

RW has no courage to face the gravity of a growing tension between the majority and minorities. While new vihares are being built in Tamil areas with no Buddhist population except the Buddhist army, existing mosques and burial grounds are being taken away from Muslim areas. The mosque in Mahara and the burial ground in Urugala, Medamahanuwara are two among several instances. RW is trapped between the economics of recovery and politics of reconciliation. The economy would love Tamil diaspora investment and IMF too is aware of it. But it needs political accommodation to Tamil demands for power devolution. 

How dangerous the exercise of reconciliation would be is best illustrated by what happened to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR) when he promised to implement the 13th Amendment after visiting New Delhi in 2019. GR was a President with a clear mandate from Sinhala Buddhist voters.  RW does not have it. Would he therefore dare to reconcile?  Economics of recovery clashes with politics of reconciliation. This clash once again underlines the need for system change.   

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

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  • 3
    6

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy. The key to maintaining the website as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics.

    For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

    • 2
      7

      PART TWO
      .
      This is something which may last about 150 minutes in Sinhala. This appears to be a well-attended meeting in Balapitiya, on the South-Western Coast. Colvin R. de Silva was from there and it used to be a leftist strong-hold, during my youth when I even voted tor the UNP on occasion.
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFq8Qea2FR8
      .
      Right now there’s entertainment, a Sinhalese song. Most of the proceedings will be in Sinhala because there are very few Tamil speakers there. Last night I listened to Gustav Mahler’s Eighth symphony which required 1029 musicians when first performed.
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKof4e_7cYA
      .
      Never mind that. Get back to Balapitiya. The man who is speaking there now knows excellent English, but he’s using Sinhala. Harshana Nanayakkara, a lawyer whose father was the film producer, Yasapalitha Nanayakkara:
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFq8Qea2FR8
      .
      AKD is on the platform; he usually speaks last.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444) of Bandarawela
      .

      • 4
        3

        Dr Ameer Ali,
        Ranil has a realistic strategy to repeat 2005 Presidential Elation results again, by having Presidential election before any other elections – Parliamentary, Provincial or local Government elections.
        Ranil will come out with all sort of excuses and block holding any other election. Ranil understands that in a Parliamentary, Provincial or local government elections, if held now or in the near future, the chances of his getting majority of seats is slim, whereas, NPP and SJB will do better pushing Ranil ,if contested, to the third or fourth or even further down. Thereafter if the Presidential Election is held, The chances of victory by Ranil is almost non- existent.
        Ranil is not a fool to face such a calamity.
        The minority parties and small regional parties will contest to win at least a few seats in any election other than Presidential Election.

        Ranil with this strategy in mind is making all efforts to have a political solution merely to get the support of minority parties as additional support along with the divided Sinhala votes to support him in the next presidential election.

        This hypothesis was validated in the results of the 2005 and 2015 presidential elections.

        • 1
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          srikrish,
          .
          From what you have said, you clearly understand that what Ranil has done is wrong. That’s what your second paragraph clearly states.
          .
          Yet in your first paragraph you praise Ranil for being “realistic”.
          .
          The rest of your comment then continues to congratulate Ranil for putting his self interest before that of all the citizens. The one excuse that I can find for excusing the nonsense that you have written is that your name, and your concern with minority rights seem to indicate that you are what most refer to as a “Tamil”. I know that such people have been shamefully treated by the Sinhalese, of whom I’m supposed to be one. Please search my many comments and note that I have consistently been acknowledging the wrongs suffered by you.
          .
          At least now, let’s put things right. You realise that very few indeed – a low as 001% of the people want this old man (actually I’m a few months older) but you excuse his horrendous doings.
          .

        • 0
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          “This hypothesis was validated in the results of the 2005 and 2015 presidential elections.”
          Is the hypothesis “Ranil with this strategy in mind is making all efforts to have a political solution merely to get the support of minority parties as additional support along with the divided Sinhala votes to support him in the next presidential election.”
          How did the two results prove anything?

    • 7
      0

      “President Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR) when he promised to implement the 13th Amendment after visiting New Delhi in 2019. GR was a President with a clear mandate from Sinhala Buddhist voters. RW does not have it. Would he therefore dare to reconcile? “
      GR did NOT have a mandate to implement 13A, and in any case was against its implementation. RW is not answerable to any vote bloc, and is at least making the right noises, including pissing off the Sinhala extremists with his idea for a common war memorial.
      As to tackling the Sangha, has the oh-so-system changing JVP/NPP ever had the courage to openly denounce their power? No, on the other hand, it has its own bald brigade, just like any other party. They are as hypocritical as anyone else.

      • 6
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        S.M,
        I sense that you are about to give us heroic videos of Janaka Ratnayaka along with the usual adulatory AKD videos.
        But I would strongly advise you to check out his background before you make a fool of yourself.

        • 7
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          Pigs might fly, if SM or the like men would start to think rationally…
          .
          Janaka Rathanayaka was a man of Rajapakse camp..
          ..
          God bless srilana. 🙌

          • 5
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            SRILANKA

      • 1
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        old codger,
        .
        Let me continue to be polite to you
        , but please don’t write rubbish. I’m not a “Sinhala extremist”, and you know it.
        .
        I know very well that you have almost never sat down to a full speech of AKD (usually about one hour). You seem to think that if your lies are repeated they will be believed. I certainly will not accept your lies. I know that I’m an insignificant guy, but I do matter. How different from your pal, “nimal frnando”! Because he is a reasonable man, I have no desire to “identify” him. But you are “objectionable.” I looked here for the gentlest word that I could find:
        .
        https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/disgusting.
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe

        • 1
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          I’m not a “Sinhala extremist”
          True.
          But you will also remember reminding someone around here that he is a Tamil and fortunate to be tolerated.

      • 0
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        OC,
        “As to tackling the Sangha, has the oh-so-system changing JVP/NPP ever had the courage to openly denounce their power? No, on the other hand, it has its own bald brigade, just like any other party. They are as hypocritical as anyone else.”
        They would ensure, soon as they are elected with overwhelming majority, to ensure that they denounce openly!!!
        That is an irrevocable undertaking, implicit in the contesting the forthcoming election, though not before the proposed “ARAGALAYA” because if they do the SB support would not be “FORTHCOMING” TO OUST GOVERNEMNT IN POWER!!!???
        UNDERSTANDABLE FEAR!!????????

    • 1
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      I’m very sorry that the Janaka Ratnayake interview in English doesn’t come on..
      .
      I see that I have left the initial “h”. I give you the correct link below. Had you added the initial bit, so that the first became “https://www” – just the initial “h” should have been added before googlng. I’ve done that and am listening to the interview again:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0jdKke3cNY
      .
      My apologies to all.
      .
      Panini

  • 8
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    Dr.Ameer Ali has hit the nail on its head with the line…………
    …..To put it bluntly,so long as the ruling Sinhala elite and the Sangha are not willing to give up their claim to total ownership of Srilanka to the subjugation of all other ethnic and religious minorities there is no way that any reconciliation could be achieved……..
    So in essence President Ranil.W. finds himself in the same boat that SWRD.B. found himself in 1957[ BC Pact.] in his attempts at Reconciliation.
    Caught between Scylla and Charybdis [ Greek Mythology ].

    As usual the JVP/ NPP is opposed to the neoliberal formula but cup sip on the National question. They merely say System change. Whatever that means.

    • 0
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      Plato,
      Simply put – CONVERT ALL THOSE OF OTHER FAITHS TO BECOME SB’S!?
      “GOTA AND RATNASARA”,ONE COUNTRY ONE LAW ACHIEVED WITH LEAST EFFORT!!!???
      Every SL political party is not genuine in serving the people, but GRAB POWER AND THEN MANIPULATE THE CITIZENS!!!???

  • 4
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    Once again, Ranil W is making his “FOXY” attempt to hoodwink the “Minority” community. Remember, once he said: ” I will solve this minority issue before 4th February”. He promised that at a meeting held with the political parties representing the minority communities. I ask Mr. Sumanthiram, Rasamanikkam, and the rest who attended that meeting: “What did you get”?

    You LOST even the little you had, e.g. The “District Councils” and the Local Government Institutions such as the Municipal Councils and the “Palatha Sabas”. Don’t you see, how Ranil W “RULES” all those Local Government Institutions through his “PROXY” – the “District Governor”? He has “Suppressed”( “Withdrawn”) the basic Democratic Right of your people to elect their representatives to manage their local necessities. Do you still “TRUST” and “BELIEVE” him?

  • 4
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    ” IMF, which now wants to make Sri Lanka’s economic recovery a show case to the rest of the developing world. Ranil Wickremesinghe is acting as the matron of this unit and IMF would love to keep him permanent.”
    IMF may wants to make Sri Lanka as a developed country from bankgruptcy and wants to keep RW as a Permanent matron of this unit. If that happens in real it is great but is it possible for IMF to bring reconcilliation. The whole world including west, East, South and North united together with Sri Lanka or Rajapaksas and helped to get rid of LTTE in 2009. Unfortunately, this island become much more dangerous than the period of LTTE in terms of econmic development and reconcilliation. Sri Lanka had the oportunities to achieve both development and reconcilliation together but ended witheconomic bankgruptcy and further deterioration of ethinic conflict. The first principle of economic development is “stability” which cannot be reached by RW. He can talk but practically he does not have the will and courage or support from others. Militarisation is not considered as stability. Currently, he does not have a mandate from people or his government does not have a mandate from people. IMF can’t canvass for his victory in elections. How long he is going to be in power and how long the same government going to be in power?

    • 3
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      “Unfortunately, this island become much more dangerous than the period of LTTE in terms of econmic development and reconcilliation.”
      *
      But VP and his cyanide brigade lost to MR & Co the chance to destroy the country. I am fairly sure that they would have done an impressive job.

      • 2
        1

        “But VP and his cyanide brigade lost to MR & Co the chance to destroy the country. “
        The fact is VP and his group did not lost to MR &Co and your hero MR&Co took that chance to destroy the country within a decade and they lost every thing now.

        • 1
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          It is the usual lack of comprehension or a hapless escape stunt?
          Why are you so embarrassed to acknowledge your killer hero?

          • 1
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            I am not embrassed as you for bringing country into bankgruptcy by your killer masters so called hero’s Gota and Mahinda. Are you proud of bangruptcy with the help of China?

  • 2
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    IMF funding is a temporary plaster to this chronically infected wound. It will only save ” Sinhalese ruling elite” as you said in the article. Other ethnic groups are not free. If they were given the power they will be much worse “Tamil ruling elite ” and “Muslim ruling elite”.
    Big problems are difference in language, money and hopeless mythical religions. Believing non existing, cult forming god or group of gods make it worse. GOD is a mythical creature lives in your mind and mind only.
    Reconciliation happen with prosperity. Prosperity by stopping corruption and managing economy well not pressurized by foreign powers. When people are well they can kick the god on his backside.
    In current political climate NPP (National people front) has no religious appellation and does not seem to be partial to any foreign powers like China, USA and India. If I have to take a side They will be the one .

    • 7
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      Jack

      “In current political climate NPP (National people front) has no religious appellation and does not seem to be partial to any foreign powers like China, USA and India. “

      NPP’s leaders are closet racists, except a few of them are overtly racists with their cherished belief in one party system.

      The liberal sounding AKD while addressing retired army men said that “traditional Tamil leaders sowed the seeds of racism when they lost their power.”

      Is this not pandering to Sinhala/Buddhists, or has he forgotten his history lessons.

      By the way every eel hopes to become a whale one day.

    • 0
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      Jack ,

      Your last three lines , do you seriously believe It Is Local Fellows
      who hold elections ? If it is not for outside pressure , believe me
      there’s no way an election will be held so that the NPP can at least
      test the waters ! You are already qualified to ask the JVP / NPP as
      to what happened to their promised Local Election ? And their
      promised Chasing away of Ranil and now AKD saying at Balapitiya
      that they are ready to face Ranil even in fifteen months ? Don’t you
      smell a rat here similar to that of the Traditional ones already ?
      Let us not rush to wrong conclusions !

  • 3
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    I’m just waiting for Ranil to die.

    GROBR ….. Short and sweet.

    • 4
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      nimal fernando

      “I’m just waiting for Ranil to die.”

      You have been sitting on the fence for years however now it appears you have joined Churchill, Thiruvengadam Velupillai Prabaharan, Pottu Amman, both Saraths, Gota, the Brigadier who fried Rohana Wijeweera alive, Major Thoradeniya, Major Muthalif, Sisira, Jegath, Kamala, …… , …., Sadam, Hitler, Nicolae Ceaușescu, Idi Amin, Yahya Khan who wanted to kill three million of Bangladeshis aided and abetted by SJ’s darling Siri Mao, Mao, Stalin, ……. Augusto, Batista, Franco, Mussolini, ……………………………………………………….. …. Truman, Johnson, Nixon, ……

      • 0
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        Native,

        Well, that was intentional ……… and got the exact reaction I was expecting. :))

        Like I’ve said before ……. your thinking stops at a point: deceived/hoodwinked by the obvious.

        Tyrants are all the same. …………. Some – like Prabakaran (and some others you have named) – openly kill and end the misery. While people like Ranil unconcernedly kill people dragging them through to a lingering death. You don’t see Ranil’s tamashas, perks to the humbugs who should be earning a honest wage ……. and taxing people to their ears in the most difficult times as murder. To someone like you, it doesn’t look like murder because – like Prabakaran – he doesn’t pull out a gun and shoot someone. Nevertheless it’s murder alright.

        It’s not difficult to figure out …….. just think …….. how all these Ranil supporters ( I too was one at times but I’m not blind :)) ) …… would have reacted if what Ranil is doing was done by Mahinda and the Rajapakses. All you get carried away by personalities ……. and the truth falls by the wayside.

        • 2
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          continued

          You guys are so superficial and swayed by the prevailing buzz, the truth never gets through …….. people will accuse ol’ Adolf of gassing 6 million but will never accuse Donald of killing 1 million of unconcerned disregard to Covid-stricken just to try to win an election.

          Killing is killing ….. direct …… or through unconcerned disregard.

          After all you are Lankan, Native …… in spite of all your blustering word-play …… your mind is set from childhood. It’ll be a miracle if it ever change.

          Like I’ve said ……. I know what you are going to think even before you know it yourself: it’s so predictable! ……. And it’s a drag.

          Ramona is not predictable …….. cause even she doesn’t know what she is thinking! ……… And that’s the attraction to some men …… I won’t mention names ….. :)))))

      • 1
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        Oh dear! When will the nonsensical rambling stop?
        For a while I thought that he had gone for the long overdue therapy.
        I am disappointed as I care most for his health, among those here.
        But there is always hope that he will find the right doctor in the room.

        • 2
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          Oh dear! When will SJ is going to find his right doctor in China?

    • 2
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      Me, too, nimal.

      • 2
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        SM further proves that the Assassin’s Guild corrupted him as nothing can reverse him.

        I read somewhere recently that this man needs psychotherapy sooner than others predict.
        Next month I will visit the mothers of victims of 89-92 in Galle, Kurunegala and other areas. Their loss has made them sick for their rest of life. They each lost their sons. Some of them are psychiatric patients.

        I have no doubt SM et al will suck my blood on the street, if found live. Today it is a land of barbarians. I am not afraid but I have a long journey ahead of me.

        No adolescent would be blind to that way, but this man has become an easy prey for AKDISM today.

        Isn’t that the same as those who fall for the tricks of the “born again” cult? It proves his psychology. Today he has been appointed to publicize more in favor of JVP. How cheap he is fallen in ?
        .
        This man was a man of good heart before JVP-NPP manipulated them. Many of us in CT respected him that day. Now his toxic nature is emerging by the hour. See, how much naivety can harm a person.
        Good thoughts to SM.

  • 2
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    Yes SL had to go to IMF. In order to get approval SL gave a proposal with forecasts. In the forecast, there were assumptions that were in the Budget that were approved by the Parliament. However, the SL government said it has no money to pay for the LG election for which there was an allocation in the budget. I wonder how the IMF can accept the proposal given by SL to grant the approval when election funding is not done reducing its ability to trust the SL forecasts.

    Even after the first IMF funding, we see Ranil building a UNP war chest for the next election by appointing numerous UNP EX politicians who were kicked out of the Parliament by voters as Advisors. If he has so many advisors why do we need such a large cabinet and another large pool of State Ministers? Is IMF so stupid not to notice it?

    Further, we have seen the sums of money the Govt spent on Vesak, New Year Tamasha, etc., when the Chairman of the PUCSL was kicked out by the Parliament once again the Govt kicked its own policy and the constitution as these commissions were supposed to be independent. Challenging a Minister by a Chairman of an independent commission should not be the cause for dismissal. Is IMF stupid not to notice these violations?

  • 3
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    Ameer Ali acknowledges that prioritising Reconciliation is fundamental for economic recovery. When will the ruling Sinhala elite and the Sangha agree.

    • 3
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      Tamil nationalist parties oppose a government proposal for a common memorial for all war dead in Colombo, I read in the Tamil media.
      Should we not think a little on this matter as well?

      • 2
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        SJ,
        If both the Tamil and Sinhala extremists oppose the idea, there must be something good in it

        • 1
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          old codger,
          “there must be something good in it”
          Is it so?
          Can you please explain in detail what was in the government proposal for a common memorial for all war dead that could be good?

      • 1
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        old codger,
        “there must be something good in it”
        Is it so?
        Can you please explain in detail what was in the government proposal for a common memorial for all war dead that could be good?

  • 10
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    Again another wonderful and accurate article by Dr Ameer Ali. How can there be reconciliation when Sinhalese Buddhist fascists led by powerful people in the current government, opposition, the southern press and media, the racist occupying Sinhalese armed forces and police in the north and east, and government departments like the so-called Archaeological department, that is not interested in real history or Archaeology but to promote Sinhalese Buddhist Fascism and use fake history and myths to steal Tamil people’s land and their places of worship to convert them to Sinhalese Buddhist, and another government departments like land, forestry and so-called Mahaveli who are illegally using their powers and fake documents prepared to appropriate Tamil people’s lands in NE, especially in fertile and strategic areas to settle Sinhalese and build Buddhist monuments.

  • 9
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    They are getting away with this because powerful people in the government, as well as the opposition and the Sinhalese ruling class, are behind this and the apathy and indifference of the international community, who greatly helped the Sinhalese to win the war against the Tamil people who were fighting for their just rights and survival and then did not follow up on any promise that was given to grant federalism and just Tamil rights, for the help provided. Instead, they are just mouthing platitudes and words about Tamil rights in the UN but overtly and covertly still helping these Sinhalese racists just to win over them from China and the Sinhalese are very cleverly using the China card to get what they want. In the meantime, the country is bankrupt and ruined but this does not matter as long as the Tamils are destroyed nothing matters. They think once the Tamils are destroyed, their lands are stolen and most of them forcibly assimilated as Sinhalese everything will be fine. It will not be.

    • 1
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      Dear SSS,
      .
      There was only one Red “DISLIKE” when I saw your comment. I’ve now added my own green “LIKE ” to it. This is a major problem. Some fellows are ruining the only reasonable website where we can seriously exchange views.
      .
      Your first comment had fared better. After my “LIKE” was inserted, the score is 4 and one.
      .
      Let’s make a start:
      .
      https://www.dailymirror.lk/top_story/NPP-to-launch-Aragalaya-from-June-8-to-obtain-LG-polls-AKD/155-259988
      .
      I know the problem that this presents for you. Almost all the original statements are in a language that you don’t understand – and I don’t understand any Tamil.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

      .
      .
      I don’t want to report this. Don’t report this. .We must continue to discuss in earnest.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

      • 3
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        “Some fellows are ruining the only reasonable website where we can seriously exchange views.”
        Food for thought!

  • 4
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    “Sri Lanka is too strategic a country to let it slip away from the Western net.”
    Not the Chinese net any more?
    To whom do we owe this miracle?

    • 0
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      Recently a Chinese delegation visited, and the main message is that China is will be present in one form or another.

      The head of delegation vowed that China will make make a miracle reality in Ambaanthotai that no body had seen or attempted so far.

      The reference to nobody in that vow is the West and Hindia.

      The Chinese are now busy in heading and confronting US and the West attempt of containing, coercion etc.

      • 0
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        “The Chinese are now busy in heading and confronting US and the West attempt of containing, coercion etc.”
        In between they find time to make world peace as well.
        I do not know if those were the words used by the head of the delegation. But the H’tota port is ticking well now for some years.

    • 2
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      “To whom do we owe this miracle?”

      Mao and Siri Mao.

      • 0
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        So, Dr AA is a closet Maoist?
        What about his followers here?

  • 2
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    “sustainable growth is not possible as long as communities remain disunited, disconnected and uncooperative.”
    This is the educated civilised Sinhala population should realise. By insisting on a Unitary SL WE are not going anywhere. What aragalaya need to fight for a United SL, WITH EQUAL RIGHTS to all the SL citizens.We need the law and order to be applied equally.

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      Naman ,

      ” United Srilanka , WITH EQUAL RIGHTS to all the SL citizens . “
      A pure political slogan invented to last centuries after centuries.
      People will come and go but not the slogan . Ours is a country
      that is looking up to somebody else to feed them . Such a country
      can never ever succeed to treat a nation that is divided into many
      segments , let alone equally , even discriminately ! Level playing
      is definitely a luxury that only an able body can undertake .
      So far , without doubt we were led by wealthy leaders and these
      wealthy leaders ignorantly or on purpose , let their people of all
      races very badly down . They were not interested to work hard
      to distribute country’s wealth fairly among their people and I
      will not include JRJ in that list . He did bad things and at the same
      time , if the people have at least some modern comforts today ,
      they are thanks to JRJ . Because of our bad politics , we have built
      up the habit of ignoring and rejecting whatever good done to us
      and such people will not succeed in life .

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    Wealthy Leaders (Political or Business) in our country at present time, I will assume did not toil to get it!
    We see lots of 4 wheel cars that are expensive being driven in SL. One should check on how they made or making the money and impose higher taxes to drive on the SL roads!
    Law and order isn’t for the crooked people or for the clergy!

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