18 August, 2022

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Fitch Ratings Talk: “Bring Back A New Yahapālanaya”

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

The Ratings Metaphorically Talk

Just take a look at the snapshot of Fitch Ratings from April 2020, the commencement of Yahapalanaya government under Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, unto April 2020, the first year of the current regime published by the Financial Times on 20 December 2021;

April          2015      BB-

February   2016       B+

February   2017       B+

December  2018      B

September 2019      B

April           2020      B-

The statistics metaphorically talk; it says bring back Yahapalanaya if this country is to be saved of total disaster.

What Are Fitch Ratings?

Fitch Ratings publishes credit ratings of an entity, obligation or government. These are forward-looking opinions on the relative ability to meet financial commitments. These opinions are based on established criteria and methodology. Fitch Ratings Inc. is an American credit rating agency and is one of the “Big Three credit rating agencies.” The other two are Moody’s and Standard.

A BBB rating, for instance, indicates that expectations of default risk are currently low. The capacity for payment of financial commitments is considered adequate, but adverse business or economic conditions are more likely to impair this capacity. Bonds with a rating of BBB – (on the Standard & Poor’s and Fitch scale) or Baa3 (on Moody’s) or better are considered “investment-grade.” Bonds with lower ratings are considered “speculative” and often referred to as “high-yield” or “junk” bonds. B1/B+ are the highest quality speculative rating, AAA ratings denote the lowest expectation of default risk. AA represents very high credit quality.

Now, the rating is of great importance when a foreign direct investment project is proposed or when debentures are issued. Good credit ratings allow people, companies, and governments to easily borrow from financial institutions or public debt markets.

Yahapalanaya Rating

In the case of the period of the yahapalanaya government from 2015 to 2019 a B or B+ rating had been consistently achieved. This, to be sure, was not something to cry about from the treetop. It was modest but sound and the fact that the rating showed signs of a further rise to B+ indicated that the government was on the right path toward economic progress and stability. A long way to go though. But, then, Sri Lanka had been so badly governed in the past that an endemic situation demanded time to heal. Politicians who promise ‘sawbhagyaya’ in a jiffy are fooling the people and would have that promise return in a backlash later. Despite our poor record of promises political leaders both of the opposition and government still continue to dish out reckless promises. It is rather better to take the people to their confidence and tell them the truth and give deadlines.

Yahapalanaya Missed the Opportunity for Showcasing

The fact of the Fitch ratings achievement should have warranted the Yahapalanaya government to use media and broadcast it. On the other hand, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his cabinet ministers did not move in that direction. His then Deputy, Sajith Premadasa, should have fought for his government rather than choose to dawdle in an enclave down south. So should have Harsha De Silva, Eran Wickramaratne and so on who were economists. The latter may perhaps have been hatching to remove the leader. Yahapalanaya should have had an Ajith Nivard Cabraal who goes to the other extreme of hyperbole. It was all a failure in marketing.

Application of Marketing Principles to Governance

The concept of marketing does not narrowly relate to the area of goods and services. We all know that today. There are segments called social marketing, ideas marketing, personality marketing and so on. Contemporary marketing Guru Phillip Kotler, in fact, had sated that Sri Lanka had excelled in the ‘marketing of family planning.’ That was true.

Persons behind a government machinery do not firmly realize that much of their products have to be marketed and that they must be marketed if the programs are to sustain and the government is to sustain because of the program. Almost all marketing strategies relating to production, distribution, promotion and pricing are equally applicable to most government services. The simple reason is that government is a process activated within an electorate framework. The popularity yardstick is key.

Even in many other areas Yahapalanaya did well. Fostering private enterprise, establishment of law and order, the independent commissions, no state-sponsored oppression or murder, freedom of protest, the introduction of computer literacy in schools etc. had been just a few other examples. One could have observed a streamlined professionalisation taking place in ministries and agencies. Much of this had space for improvement but the work was in progress. Now, we also know that the alleged Central Bank scam did not in fact, take place.

Only Sirisena upset the apple cart by his subversive and ugly U-Turn.

Even in the matter of Sirisena’s subversion it goes to the credit of Ranil Wickremesinghe for having handled a most outrageous situation appropriately and deftly. The way the 52-day illegal government was dislodged was brilliant!

With not a single hateful expression riled against all these Ranil Wickremesinghe emerged from all these clouds as a statesman of class.

What Would the New Yahapalanaya Be?

The old yahapalanaya has gone, leaving only the leader that gave it philosophical direction. Yes, it has to be old wine but in new bottles. The old wine means the proven principles of good governance, which Yahapalanaya strived to follow. By new blood is meant a younger generation of intelligent and informed leaders in front ranks.

Ranil announced the other day that the UNP has brought in ten new young professionals to the front ranks and that they would soon be presented to the people. That is welcome news for democrats. The United National Party has done a lot and has had quality leaders at the helm most of the time. Historically, the UNP has been a significant stabilising factor in the Lankan body politic. It still has a nascent base at grassroots, waiting for the light of hope. Maybe a leader will eventually arise from among these ranks as Lalith Athulathmudali did in the old days.

*The writer can be reached at shyamonjayasinghe@gmail.com

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Latest comments

  • 15
    2

    What would the new Yahapalanaya be ?? is a forward looking statement, except for that , the rest are real facts. Those retards, pseudos, racists and the rest of Rajapaksa clan can say what ever they want , but can’t hide the truth. When Sir Fail took over, there was more than 7 Billion in foreign exchange reserve , which he brought down to zero in no time.

    • 7
      7

      Mr. SJ: Don’t you get it, that there is nothing to chose between US puppet Ranil Wickramasinhge and US citizens Goat and Basil Rajapaksass? The American policy (Republican and Dems), in Sri Lanka with the UNP/SJB and the SLFP/PP is “Heads I win, Tails you lose”.
      USAID funded trips for Politicians to “strengthen democracy” (ha, ha, ha) has turned the Lankan Parliament into a bi-partisan Corruption Racket – just like the US Senate and House of Reps. Sri Lanka is ruled today by American citizens, first families of Basil and Goat Rajapaksa. The Ultra Sinhala Buddhist Rajapakses are like Don Juan Dharmapala who signed over the country to the Portuguese to colonize it – they represent US interests and work for the American Deepstate.

      • 5
        5

        Sri Lanka’s Sinhala Buddhist Diaspora like the Tamil Diaspora is now Weaponized to Divide and Rule to enable the US, the Biggest Debtor nation and Rouge State in the world that has printed 9 trillion in the past 2 years to COLONIZE Lanka. US needs to monitor the Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOF) in the Indian Ocean.
        Today we need to talk of Digital Colonialism and the new shape of the THIRD WORLD WAR by the WEST against the REST which takes the form of Hybrid, cyber and maritime trade war, along with old ethnic and religious divide and rule and loot operations by the Rogue state that has 800 military bases all over the world – all this with the Covid-19 mask and Lockdowns to prevent protest and the truth from being known!

    • 6
      2

      Stupid masses and pinguththarayas s led srilanka let criminals be back and today entire nation should be punished .
      .
      April          2015      BB-

      February   2016       B+

      February   2017       B

      These are real good achievements thanks to late mangala and UNP leadership.
      .
      Who ever whatever be said and done against only leader who could save this nation is Ranil. Blatant lies against him were spread by medamulana uncultured bastards. .
      .
      Dr Safi saga proved it all. All others follow soon. Mahinda meeharaka will soon be punished by unknown gods for the mess his mislead done to this country 🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃

      • 2
        1

        LM: Strange things happen during Covid 19. You say: “Whoever whatever…….only leader who could save this nation is Ranil”. Also says: “Blatant lies……spread by medamulana bastards”.

        We are well aware of the strong “BOND” between Ranil and those Madamulana Bastards. Ranil was about to be booted out of Sirikotha, but those Madamulana Big Bastard sent a team of road workers to cut open the road in front of the UNP Headquarters to break away the UNP rally that came to take over the administration. It was after that Ranil change the constitution of UNP to be the lifelong leader. Were it not for Ranil, these Madamulana Bastards would never have come to power in 2019. That history is too long and you better learn it.

        “Ranil will save this nation”. My foot and what “BS” is that? Hase the new variant of Covid 19 entered Germany?

        • 1
          0

          Would any leader let his won party be destroyed ?

          I think all these are just fake public perception. Very same Rajapskhes fooled even local degree holders in the election of Gotabaya. If the majority of this country woudl have brains, they should start hating Mahinda forever. Instead, the very same people attack only Ranil. Sorysena was the man who got elelcted as the president and could catch Rajapakshes. But the bugger ended up becoming the lap dog of Mahinda.

          But we knew that Gotabaya would not even fit to be a gramasevaka. If anyone studied what he had been doing in CA during that 15 years…. anyone with some sanity would not elect him.
          I think Ranil s govt achieved lot more good than that of Gotabaya s govt during the last 2 years. What do you make of this Simon ? Bond scam was just planted by Medamulana Mafia boss for their comeback. Besides, It is not a difficult task to fool srilankens regardless of their degree qualifications. We know this well, but many living in the country would not. Please talk to your Kadamandiya folks.

          ” Were it not for Ranil, these Madamulana Bastards would never have come to power in 2019. That history is too long and you better learn it.”

          • 0
            1

            LM: “Bond Scam was planted by Madamulana Mafia Boss”. What a DUMB proposition is that? My Kadamandiya members said: ” Kana Koka Igulana Vitalu Suda Penenna”. They are correct. I have seen it now.

    • 1
      1

      First rebuild the nation/ so that they each can grasp what yahapalanaya means/ then introduce them about goo6 governance principles.
      .
      Else the effect would be like playing the violin for the deaf. A nation dominated by the stupid regardless of their race and religion 😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎

      • 1
        1

        No degrees even university Dons were fooled by medamulana ballige puthas/ the limus test outcome is modayas lead srilanka/ no further assessment s would be necessary 🐃🐕🐃🐕😶🐃🐕😶🐃🐕😶🐃

  • 24
    3

    Bring back Yahapalanaya WITHOUT Ranil and Sirisena!!!

    • 8
      4

      Shyamon Jayasinghe is undoubtedly one of our best writers in politics today. I enjoy reading him. Very insightful and perceptive. Here again he has argued logically, cogently and conclusively. One may dislike what he says due to one’s own personal bias. That is natural. However, in my case, I have to agree with what he says. The country needs Ranil Wickremasinghe and a brand new team for the UNP. Wish a Lalith Athulathmudali will soon emerge to take the batton from Ranil in the future. As it is, Ranil in incomparable as the man who has the solutions. His integrity and statesmanship is unblemished.Yahapalanaya handed over 7.8 billion foreign exchange in reserves. What happened to that?

    • 2
      7

      “Now, we also know that the alleged Central Bank scam did not in fact, take place”
      Quite true. Even if there was a loss by way of 3% higher interest, it was so small that it would disappear compared to the 18 billion annual loss at Srilankan.
      There is no law against making money, but Ravi K should be in jail for corruption and insider dealing.
      This fake affair, along with the fake 50 day government, Sirisena’s duplicity, and the fake Easter attack, was what brought down Yahapalanaya.
      Ranil had good ideas, but he was bad at marketing them. The ignorant voters will always fall for scare stories and racism over sensible economics. Ranil’s public image as a serious and aloof person doesn’t work in politics.
      His sidekick Mangala too had good ideas. His fuel formula, which was scoffed at by the opposition then, is being considered by the very same people now. Ranil was pilloried for privatisation, but the present regime does the same. At least Ranil didn’t do it because the country was bankrupt.

    • 6
      0

      Ranil is the biggest traitor, being a mole for the Rajapakses.

  • 16
    16

    To be fair to Ranil he has never had complete power to carry through his plans. In Yahapalana 1.0 he had that idiot Sirisena blocking his every move. Years earlier he had the SLFP’s President Chandrika doing the same. Perhaps a Yahapalana 2.0 with a UNP leader as President and another as PM will be better.

    • 14
      4

      You are seriously mistaken my friend! What happened during Yahapalanaya was a joint venture by Ranil, Sirisena and Rajapaksa clan. We the public were hoodwinked again!

    • 11
      5

      “To be fair to Ranil he has never had complete power to carry through his plans.”

      Spot on!

      Of all the Lankan pols in recent times …….. Ranil is the best president we never had. Ranil would’ve been a different person if he had total power. He hasn’t come into politics to steal public wealth: he is born into wealth. Inexcusably for yonks Ranil didn’t think what’s best for the UNP and give up the leadership: ran it to the ground ……… but always did what he thought was best for the country under difficult/trying circumstances.

      He rescued the economy twice ……. and was a victim of his own success ………. if we had the hardship people are experiencing now, in 2002, 2015(if Mahinda had won) ……. he would’ve been a shoo-in ………..

      His monumental failure as a politician …….. has been in the area of dealing with the utterly corrupt self-serving pols in order to maintain a support base …….. everyone who he brought into politics has cuckold him and gone to the other side ……..

      His days are past ………he should gracefully retire ……. and fade away ……..

      Let the young take over ……… Native vedda as president and EE as prime minister ……… let’s see how that works out ……….

      • 6
        2

        Nimal, you are seriously wrong in this:
        1) If Ranil wanted it, he could have done it – What? Punishing those world class rogues who robbed every cent from poor Sri Lankans during 2005 – 2015 period. But he did NOT! I don’t have to tell you why.

        2) Like Ranil, his uncle JRJ could have cleansed the corrupt system Sirima introduced between 70-77 period. But he did not! Instead he turned a blind eye when Gamini and Lalith and the rest robbed public funds!

        By all means I would say we had a golden chance to resurrect Sri Lanka and run it as a very decent country if JRJ wanted it so, with the massive 5/6th power he got in 1977. But not betraying the DNA of the 20th century fox, he didn’t do anything on that line. And here we are!!

        • 4
          0

          Jit,

          I get what you are trying to say …….. and it’s difficult for me to disagree.

          But you have to understand he never had total power like Gota now ……. in 2002 he was under CBK ……. and in 2015 he was under Sirisena …….

          In spite of all his weaknesses and lack of leadership qualities (Gota also lacks leadership qualities) …….. Ranil would have been a different person if he had total power ……

          He sure did make mistakes ……… but mistakes are not the same as well-planned intentional corruption and looting.

          People’s reactions to public figures are mostly/usually emotional ……… Ranil is a figure of derision …….. Mahinda is a figure of adoration ………. both undeserved …………

    • 7
      8

      Wrong.

      PM Ranil had all the powers after 19 amendment but he used those powers to save his buddy Rajapaksa and pit them against Sirisena. It backfired. Unexpectedly Sirisena and Rajapaksas patched up!

      Game over for Ranil.

      UNP cannot win a presidential election. Hasn’t won a presidential election for 33 years.

      Support SJB instead to get rid of Rajapaksas.

      • 7
        0

        GATAM you make a good point but if the SJB came to power wouldn’t all the criminals in the present Government join it? Wouldn’t Premadasa welcome them to have a majority? Strangely it would be from the fire to the frying pan, still a bad situation.

  • 19
    3

    Never ever believe this 20th century fox Ranil for anything. He is the one who saved the Rajapakse clan from Tsunami fraud to all the fraud during the 10yrs of Rajapakse presidency. Even by miracle he gets the power he will save the Rajapakse clan for all frauds.

  • 23
    7

    Veteran Jayasinghe living is Australia is a blind follower of Ranil, who not only did not win a single seat but also destroyed the UNP .Such a person must be extremely conceited to think he is wiser than the millions who are living in SL everyday.

    Have you seen huge newspaper advertisements of government Banks where they boast their annual performance ? The biggest photo is the Chairman, a political appointee , just appointed.

    You should have enough common sense to realize that this chairman, a political stooge, had nothing to do with the supposed performance of the bank. Hundreds of professionals and employees of the bank have worked for decades to bring the back to where it is today.

    Similarly a government as soon as it is elected or in a a short period cannot show results. When it is a country , it takes at least 5 years to harvest your yield. Most of the economic factors that were present during the UNP were the result of the previous 10 years. We can also assume that some of the economic problems of today are the result of Ranil devious work, including the degrading of our sovereign bonds.

    True, the Rajapakses are dishonest and incompetent. In this however , they are not the only guilty party.

  • 8
    3

    What exactly is Shyamon, pipe dreaming? Alas! The noble principle of “Yahapalana” has turned into a brand name and it is in that context (I take it) that he talks of bringing in such a government. Fine! Who is going to head it? Is it the same “Bond-Wicks” that he is thinking of? True! Amongst the politicians he is the only one who has the Western backing to get out of a dire economic situation and the ratings will improve whatever be the actuals are. But his party could not win a single seat (excluding the national list) through a direct election last time. Is Shyamon thinking of the SJB? I doubt it. The AKD & Co Ltd? (JVP and its coalition) Extremely unlikely. I don’t want to gloat that I visualized Sri Lanka turning into a “North Korea” many moons ago. My reading is that because there is a severe erosion in the confidence of democracy the conditions are becoming right for a take-over. The start of it could be the operation of a firing squad within 24 hours of the event. Then, CT would be inaccessible for blokes like us. Frying pan to the fire.

  • 1
    1

    Good Sense: “Extremely Unlikely”. Is that a typographical error in adding that “Un” to the word “Likely”?

  • 13
    2

    Mr Shyomon Jayasinghe: You prove to be a “SLAVE” freed by Ranil W to live in Australia, yet who cannot understand that “Freedom”. Man! Just understand your “Freedom” and give up that “Slavish” mindset. The voters in Colombo understood and kicked out Ranil W. He (Ranil) “Dececrated” our Democracy by entering the Parliament through the “Back Door”. Have you seen any such “Moves” by defeated candidates in Australia? At least try to learn from what is happening in Australia before writing this type of “BS”.

  • 7
    4

    No chance.

    UNP like the SLFP is now dead. UNP has 1 seat. SLFP has 15 seats. That’s all. They are both dead.

    Support Sajith or Anura for next president. Do not cause further divisions in the opposition.

  • 5
    1

    Fitch has greatly overlooked the Great Assets of Srilanka: The Colombo Port City, Hambantota Global Port, Mattala International Airport the busiest airport in the world and the heavenly Nelum Pokuna just a few of the real Utopia bestowed with the glorious Sinhalese Nation, the pride of the universe.

  • 3
    0

    GATAM you forget the incredibly short memory of the voters. They have been reinstating the same criminals for decades. Despite this short flirtation with the SLPP mafia they will return to the usual villains.

  • 2
    0

    Certainly, bring back another ‘yahapalanaya’. The last failed because slimy Sirisena undermined every effort of the ruling govt. & connived with the Rajapakses, together, with his own part, which was in the opposition. However, RW, although a mature politician acceptable internationally, unlike Sirisena & the Rajapakses, has much to be blamed for his laissez faire approach. I lost any respect I had for him when he said ‘wat to do, I was not informed’ with a stupid grin at an interview soon after the Easter bombing. RW supported his cronies, like Ravi K & Mahendran, instead of keeping his pledge to SL as PM.

    Anyway, RW is past his sell by day & I don’t have any faith in Premadasa jnr either. So lets have some fresh blood but lets see their credentials first.

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