By Ranil Wijeyesekera –
The election is right round the corner. We can obtain concessions from both major parties. Let us be objective and control our emotions. Both sides are making exaggerated claims that cannot be substantiated. We are an Educated Nation. Let us use the balance and apply common sense.
We need the correct mix of Politician, Professionals and Military Personnel in the positions of Administration Power. The diplomatic service has being a failure. When the War was won there was decentralizing of Power ,It was changed to control and appointments made by the centre. Staffing must be made as independent as possible. The Government should be careful when making appointments in the Private Sector where EPF, ETF Funds are involved .Government investment in the share market should be scrutinized. The Seylan Bank and other Institutions show where a monopoly is involved. A planned Economy needs checks and balances.
It is our duty to help the widow, the orphan and non citizen residents of our country. War affected victims of LTTE. JVP, IPKF and race riots and crime should be looked after. Fundamental rights preferably of the British Model should be put in place. Freedom of Poverty must be Guaranteed in the Constitution..
Janasaviya, Samuddri and Divi Neguma should be used to develop our economy. Foreign Governments will aid us more if this is in place Even. China looks at us on our human rights record. Whatever our Race, Creed, Caste, Social Standing and Wealth Equality must be ensured
Has our Economy really developed recently? Does the GNP reflect our Economy? Therefore investing in Forces show an unrealistic State of the Economy. Like wise Investment in Infrastructure shows a short time elevation of our Economy. We have to generate Income from our investment to show the true picture of our Economy. Our Investment should be Broad to reduce risk. To greater reliance in Tourism is risky as this changes rapidly. National Income is being used as a tool to show a false view of our Economy.
We must not fear change. We strive to improve.Our Loans to China do not include grants. It is a relatively high interest. The investment must give a sufficient return to repay loans. We have invested in Ports. This was to imitate Chinese Economic kick off by having Industry around this.
We need the opposition to do this. We have issued foreign bonds. We have to reschedule our debt. This will help our Budget. We have invested in Road and related infrastructure to boost Tourism. Tourism is a risky and changing market.
Prostitution, Massage clinics, Drugs, Large Scale Gambling, Homosexuality, Prostitution, Extorters, Slave trade and other vices have to be eliminated or controlled. Corruption creates a circulation of black money. This has become a major economy within our Sri Lankan Economy. The sectors that funds should be channeled are not in the Governments control.
Local Industry must be supported by Tariffs. International Organist ions must not be allowed to call the tune. All Countries that developed had tariffs in place in the-initial.
Periodsof Development. Agriculture needs greater support. Developed nations Economies improved with a bad human rights ,in human wages and environmental pollution. While improving their record they must assist and give us leeway.
This leads to the We have commuted to reduce foreign employment as domestic Servants. It is better to have checks and assistance and training. I consider them hero’s . There income helped us arm. Proven professional diplomats can help and also lure industry. During the War they helped but we now need them and not obedient Robot persernel. Obeying and not providing feedback is the main threat today to a Leadership that does not want to know.
Worker appointments and Union Representatives should be on Boards and their grievances’ be redressed. This was done in the initial stages in 1977. They should participate in the management of government and private sector. ILO guidance in incentives and training will help. We must keep contact with International Agencies but see that our side of the storey is represented. At present there are minimal representatives of our professionals in UN bodies.
Corruption reduced will be a big boost to the Economy. Independent Institutions as legislated previously and a vigilant Maha Sangha will lead to a large drop in Poverty. I believe in a Planned Economy. The different Religions must be the watch dog of the proper Ethics. Many Professional bodies have codes of Ethics.
In USA to they have a Planned Economy with large scale government intervention. The world now uses Economic Models that are learning fast. World Bank, IMF, ADB etc. use models but sadly they plan to create over supply to reduce Income of developing nations. The World Economy is controlled by American Multinationals. They intervene to help America. Money from the Middle East, China and Japan is invested in USA. The depreciation of the Dollar is a big money maker for America.It is Stealing from the rest of the World. They are exploiting us. We in Sri Lanka have to get together to stop this. Interest rate has being kept low. This stimulates Investment. The Budget deficit is kept to the minimum as government payback on loans is minimized. Grants and foreign low interest loans is necessary to stimulate the Economy.
The crashing of the World Economy recently was overcome by Worldwide Government intervention and supporting of Bank, Finance and mortgage institution. Vehicle and other Industries were propped up. This shows large scale government control has come to stay. Large deficit spending was used effectively.
With the Free Press and citizens and Clergy armed with cameras, computers, and new methods of monitoring will make the difference. The opposition with its different members will ensure the balance of sluggish bigness. Modern monitoring is needed both here and abroad regarding Sri Lanka. Our Sovereignty must be ensured. No one internationally can have authority over our citizens. If tracking of illegal money is carried out we must not prevent it.
Concrete proposals must be presented by both parties. I believe the opposition in power achieved a lot in the short space of time including winning the War. Diplomatically the Professional Diplomats achieved a lot of concessions. We were poised for victory with International support. That was why the LTTE backed the President. The Opposition were ready for a 2 year pact with the government to help us win the war. Karu followed in his footsteps and this made a major impact to the War effort.
Funds were channeled to Agriculture. We were therefore able to ride the Global food shortage. The Mahaveli irrigated large areas of Land and provided power. Monitoring of the projects were put in place by International Consultants. Flood protection schemes should have being put in place. Flood water in the Gates of Dams were controlled electronically on rain in catchment area and water storage as needed . There was weather change due to large areas of waterand increased evaporation. Cascading the projects lead to less than optimal use and reduced irrigation and power. Corruption was alleged with the Projects exceeding the planned expenditure. Overall the funding Interest, Grants and grace period was satisfactory
The Money invested in Roads, Ports, Air Ports, Coal Power have to generate a return. Human rights will reduce the Black Economy as monitoring, recruitment, judiciary and Bribery Commission will act. Contacts with the Western World are required for this. We must invest and obtain foreign investment in Industry.This was especially around the Ports where we have invested heavily. Training for foreign employment and for manpower to be used in Industry can be solved by having double shifts for our Training facilities. Personnel should be sent abroad for Training. Resources planning can have double shifts where necessary. Specialist and manpower from the Diaspora should come to our country to help. Retired specialists can come to our aid. The Tamil Diaspora should be encouraged to develop the Northern and Eastern provinces. A Singapore like economy can be developed in Jaffna.
Projects are monitored by resource planning to optimize costs and achieving targets on time. All factors should be considered when changing and crashing different Resources. If man is biased in his decision the program is wrong. This happens in a large scale. However we must obtain technology and train personal as needed. The present government is committed to make a knowledge based Center of Sri Lanka. Whoever comes to power should make the right decisions that can make technology flow to our country.
We need a government that can ensure freedom and human rights as well as use a planned economy. The Black Economy must stop. Let us unite with a bigger national government that was present in our economy stable, peace without the bullet is necessary for large scale foreign investment. The present Government takes risks. The hedging deal shows that. A unity Government will ensure the checks and balances are put in place. Attempting to become number 1 always has its risk. Let us not gamble with our future. Let not our ego tell us that we can’t do anything. Let us have realistic planning and listen to the feedback.