2 December, 2021

Blog

Gotabaya Churns While Modi Turns

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

After nearly one year of protest by Indian farmers against free market reforms in Indian agriculture, and with 660 deaths in the course of it, mainly due to extreme heat and cold, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has backed down, withdrawn the reforms and apologized to the farming community. This was a political move indeed to win that community’s votes in the most populous Uttar Pradesh state. In contrast, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is churning the farming community here with his idealistic commitment towards regenerative farming. This commitment is part of his so-called alternative path to economic development, supported by a few sycophants in Viyathmaga and the Central Bank chief.

Unlike India, where the industrial sector could supply enough foreign exchange to overcome food shortages, Sri Lanka with $4.3 billion debt to repay in 2022 and only $2.3 billion foreign exchange in hand at the end of October, has no choice but to face food shortage, and in the extreme case starvation, if the Maha season fails. The farming community’s protest against the blanket ban on chemical fertilizer, will gather its full momentum when the plantation sector also begins to experience falling output. Unlike rice farmers and vegetable and fruit producers, tea and rubber plantations earn the greatest share of the country’s foreign exchange. Over sixty years of export diversification, tea still remains the leading earner of foreign exchange. Given the challenges facing the economy, this is not the time for GR’s untried experiments in food production but for proven remedies.

At least Prime Minister Modi, who started life as a chaiwala and knows how to please customers, President GR is a jawanwala and believes that his commands are sufficient enough to achieve what he desires. Didn’t GR say during one of his circuit-circus that his circulars should be taken as orders by subordinate officers? The idea of wider consultation with experts in respective different fields before taking decisions seems to be anathema to this jawan. His consultation seems to be restricted to his sycophants. This was made clear in the way he handled the pandemic, which once again threatens with a fourth wave in Europe. Similarly, GR’s refusal to back down on the fertilizer issue carries similar tendencies.

On the economic front however, there is growing consensus among former central bankers, independent economists and observers that Rajapaksa regime should swallow its pride and approach IMF for a bail out. Such a bail out succeeded in avoiding a similar crisis in 2015. IMF credit is the cheapest available in the market. Of course, there will be conditions attached to its debt restructuring plan. That would be painful but would help to inject some fiscal discipline in government and that would benefit the economy in the long-term. It was reported that the cabinet had already discussed this option without taking any decision. In spite of opposition within the cabinet, IMF option is unavoidable. It is only a matter of time.

Meanwhile, an obsequious CBSL Governor Nivard Cabraal, an accountant cum politician, whose previous record of CBSL management was not unblemished, is still adamant that IMF would not be approached, because that would hinder the progress of President GR’s so-called alternative development path. One wonders what progress was he thinking about? It had been two years of unmitigated disaster that this alternative path has produced. Given the challenges facing the nation, this is not the time for trials and experiments but for proven remedies.

The budget submitted to the parliament a few days ago, if anything, is a sound reflection of the nation’s economic desperation. The entire political economy needs radical overhaul if the economy to revive. The budget shows no inclination to undertake structural changes to achieve fiscal consolidation and deficit reduction, but instead it is tinkering at the edge of the existing structures by introducing measures such as taxing traffic accidents, leaving the salaries of 1.5 million public servants unchanged and postponing politicians’ pension payments. (Does the country need that many politicians in the parliament and an army of unproductive public servants in the first place?) The budget has no word about increasing direct taxes like tax on wealth, and there is also no plan in the budget to show how the government would tackle the debt issue. The Minister and his CBSL chief seem to be still hoping to rely on loans and currency swaps from friendly countries for salvation, while ignoring the fact that Sri Lanka’s credit rating has been downgraded by international agencies, which means the interest rate on such loans and swaps would be high.

There is also a tendency to put too much reliance on tourism to salvage the sinking ship. With the fourth wave of Covid threatening to shut down international borders once again, tourism would take a long time to revive and operate at its full potential. Likewise, there is over-optimism about the expected financial bonanza from the Colombo Port City. CBSL Governor once advertised CPC as “awesome Sri Lanka” with its futuristic vision and state of the art operations, but what about the awful Sri Lanka that lies outside CPC with an outdated system mired in corruption and incompetence?

Given this scenario and challenges, mass discontent and open confrontation with the regime appears certain. The mass rally in Colombo organized by SJB, despite government attempts to stop it, demonstrates that such a confrontation is gathering momentum. GR may be looking for that confrontation to make his regime even more authoritarian and militaristic. With his championship posture over Buddhism and with his anti-Muslim stance, he is confident of support from the Sangha.

Unfortunately, the opposition is equally bankrupt as the government is in offering the people a better alternative to choose from. There is no use criticizing the regime without placing before the people the actual facts about the current crisis, how different would be the alternative package on offer and what would be its strength and weakness. None of the parties in opposition including JVP/NPP seem to have such a package, and none of them seem to have won the confidence of the people in rural areas. The looming confrontation may be a wasted opportunity confined to the cities. It may even turn ethno-religious at the end to benefit the regime more than the opposition.

*Dr. Ameer Ali, School of Business & Governance, Murdoch University, Western Australia

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Latest comments

  • 8
    1

    Modi and Rajapaksas are together since 2017.

    Modi successfully eliminated and tamed Tamil Nadu politicians. The remaining lot are naive. They keep it quiet. This helps Rajapaksas. Now Tamilians in SL do not go after India. It is useless.

    Rajapaksas in turn allows Modi’s friend Adani to expand his businesses in SL. It also helps both NaMo and MaRa’s anti-Muslim agenda.

    USA is also happy because India under Modi is happy with Rajapaksas.

    The danger is India will help Rajapaksas at the next election and India will not tolerate a government with too many Muslim votes.

    Very cunning plan of both NaMo and MaRa joining together.

    • 2
      14

      GATAM,
      Ranasinghe Premadasa reduced the cutoff point from 12.5% to 5%. As a result, Muslims became ‘King Makers’. President should increase the cutoff point from 5% to 12.5%. Modi will be happy.

      • 6
        0

        EE,

        Modi will be happy.

        But that will eliminate EPDP, SLPP, UNP from the north and TMVP/SLPP from Batticaloa. TNA will win all seats in the northern province at parliamentary elections. Only TNA, UNP and SLMC may win seats in the east in future.

        Even SLPP may be wiped out from Nuwara Eliya district in future.

        So Rajapaksas will not do it. They can’t do it because that needs 2/3. They can’t get 2/3 for THAT purpose.

        • 4
          0

          “IMF credit is the cheapest available in the market. Of course, there will be conditions attached to its debt restructuring plan.”
          I can’t understand why Cabral objects to the IMF. Already the refinery is shut down because it’s cheaper to import petrol. That sounds like IMF medicine.
          IMF conditions can’t be any worse than what is already going on. Perhaps the IMF will in addition order a downsizing of state employment and the sacred ranaviruwos too. Gota knows that would screw the Family .

      • 4
        1

        So why not Rajapaksa gang DID NOT reverse it to 12.5% since 2005?? Why you still keep blaming dead and gone Premadasa??

        • 2
          2

          Jit, please humour me for a while.

          This continues what we were discussing in an earlier episode, when the 5-day cut off took me by surprise. There are a huge number of essentially good and virtuous innocents who harbour romantic notions of a time of innocence before 1956. You are one of them.

          .
          According to them, SWRDB, was the villain. No, the UNP before 1956 was unprincipled, may be in a different way. There was the disgraceful disfranchisement of the Upcountry Tamils. The Ceylon Citizenship Act, No. 18 of 1948 was unfair. Virtual slave labour was continued on properties controlled by the UNP leaders. They were not willing to repatriate to India right then. I’m sorry; not knowing the Tamil language at all, I find this hard to prove, but I think that a careful examination of all this is coming from Dr Rajan Hoole, elder brother of “the elections guy.” Few Sinhalese will be as open as I am on this.
          .
          Please google and note the Wikipedia entries on the two Hoole brothers.
          .
          tbc

          • 2
            1

            SM, you must be seeing cuckoos these days! I just replied to EE when he was blaming Premadasa for 5% cut off! OMG Premadsa died in 1993 and why some are still blaming him for anything and everything! You are one of them too. Why didnt Rajapaksas with all that almighty powers DID NOT change it then?? That was my question and you have gone off the rail track and quoting me of the disenfranchisement of upcountry Tamils!!

            • 3
              0

              It is already 28 since premadasa died.
              .
              Who governed the country ?
              .
              To that time, people thought that nobody of that nature would get ever elected as the leader,
              .
              But Mahinda Rajapakshe was re-elected (whose record broke all the worst of R Premadasa)
              .
              Looking back, our people s memories should be pathological.
              .
              Not just POLITICIANS but peoples are stupid and irresponsible (people s representives – because PEOPLE are no different to them).

              tHIS IS WHAT REMINDED ME LOOKING BACK:: THAT OUR PEOPLE WOULD NEVER LEARN IT:

              Ginipenellen batakaapu miniha kanaamadiri eliyatath bayayi lu (ගිනිපෙනෙල්ලෙන් බැටකාපු මිනිහා කණාමැදිරි එළියටත් බයයි ලු) The man who has been beaten by a fire-brand dreads the light of even a firefly. When someone goes through a traumatic experience, he/she tries to avoid everything that even closely resembles that experience.

          • 3
            0

            Dear Sinhala_Man
            On the subject of the shocking disenfranchisement of the Upcountry Tamils, may I draw yr attention to a book which discusses this in several chapters: “History of the Up-Country Tamil People in Sri Lanka”, by founder-president of the United Plantations Union unionist, S. Nadesan (1993).

            • 2
              0

              Dear Sinhala_Man
              On the subject of the shocking disenfranchisement of the Upcountry Tamils, may I draw yr attention to a book which discusses this in several chapters: “History of the Up-Country Tamil People in Sri Lanka”, by founder-president of the United Plantations Union unionist, S. Nadesan (1993).

          • 1
            4

            Sinhala_Man,
            “There was the disgraceful disfranchisement of the Upcountry Tamils.”
            —-
            The disgraceful act was bringing people from a foreign country as slaves, exploiting their labor to make money, abandoning them in Sinhale and running away passing the problem to indigenous Sinhalayo. They did that in all their colonies creating problems for the indigenous people.

        • 2
          0

          You are decent and honourable, but an incurable romantic, Jit.
          .
          How do you account for D.S. Senanayake leaving the leadership to his ineffective son (whose virtues we quite rightly admitted)? I wonder if you’ve heard of this murder? I know that this is not directly “political”, but I feel that it will come to you as a shock who the descendants of the three Atygalle sisters were. If you dig up most family histories, of rich or poor, I’m afraid that you’ll run into uncomfortable facts like these.
          .
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attygalle_murder
          .
          Sir John had grown up without his father, who swallowed poison.
          .
          There are other, “better” accounts.
          .
          https://www.sundaytimes.lk/210725/sunday-times-2/the-1907-attygalle-murder-case-the-kotelawala-connection-449973.html
          .
          I first began commenting on CT in 2015 – courtesy of Yahapalanaya. Somebody hinted about this, I expressed ignorance; he gave me the link.
          .
          Directly political was the fact that in the lead up to the 1956 election, when Sir John saw the unpropitious signs, he promised faster and more extreme transfer to Sinhala only than Banda was promising.

        • 0
          0

          PART 1/4

          I’m sorry Jit for where my comment has been placed.
          .
          As I’ve stated, I had intended to draw your attention to this much earlier. What I’m asking you to be mindful of is that all politicians on our (Sinhalese) side have been using communalism. Too many of us blame everything on the introduction of Swabasha education for all our hills.
          .
          You rightly identify 1956 as the key year. Promise turned tragedy there; I’m now going to say things that you will find difficult to accept.
          .
          We think back to when our grandparents were the living citizens; all the accounts that we get indicate goodness, peace, serenity and contentment. Yes, for our families; may even be for all citizens as they were then. Unfortunately, all organisms change. Their progeny hanker for new roles. Social mobility.
          .
          Now comes the difficulty for you. Nineteen-fifty-six was necessary for Ceylon for the reasons that follow.

        • 0
          0

          PART 2/4
          .
          Jit, face it!
          We form an elite. Bandaranaike was an intellectual who sensed the world trending away from colonialism. He also saw that the crafty D.S.S. would by-pass him. He left the government seven months before the Prime Minister’s fatal fall from his horse. I emphasise this because I have heard professional politicians (Member of Parliament) stating that SWRD “crossed the floor” after the death of DSS. He handed over to young Dudley, who gave up when the left launched a rice hartal. Handed over to Sir John. These guys were closely related, see below.
          .
          In reading up on all this, I came across various snippets for the consideration of readers more knowledgeable than us. That includes Dr Ameer Ali!
          .
          I also hope that some of amateurishness doesn’t confuse everybody. I feel that a person like Manel Fonseka, above, may know much more than I do.
          .
          The simplified version of the way we achieved Independence only months before I was born was that after India was granted Independence, the Labour Government in Britain, led by Clement Atlee, decided that Colonialism was all wrong, and “handed the country over to us on a platter.”

        • 0
          0

          PART 3/4
          .
          However,
          it appears that a conscious decision to obtain independence was made as a result of the Sinhalese-Muslim riots of 1915. This climaxed in the wrongful execution of of Edward Henry Pedris.
          .
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Pedris
          .
          This is the family of Cyril Mathew whose agitations I remember as leading to the pogrom of 1983. In trying to understand reasons for all the deplorable racism that we see around us, I had overlooked the tragedies of 1915.
          .
          The British Governor was to blame for much of this:
          .
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Chalmers,_1st_Baron_Chalmers
          .
          The irony of all this is that Chalmers was not just a good man, he was a Buddhist and Pali scholar. It also appears that a good deal of the manipulation of the execution was as a result of the most powerful Lankan of the time, the father of SWRD B.
          .
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solomon_Dias_Bandaranaike
          .
          I’ve not worked out all the implications of this (probably never will), but much of SWRD’s life has to be seen as a revolt against what his father stood for.
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 48 3111 444V)

        • 0
          0

          PART 4/4
          .
          Let’s also not imagine that the British were evil either. Governor Chalmers, himself almost a Buddhist, may have felt wanted to be fair by the Muslims. Rev. W.A. Stone, the Warden of S. Thomas’ College, then of Mutwal, demonstrated dismay by closing the school for the day, but a few years later he kept SWRD in his home at Sir Solomon Bandranaike’s behest. I can’t find all that on the web, just school lore.
          .
          I know that you didn’t bargain for me to throw all this at you. I’m not doing that. I’m stating it here, below Dr Ali’s article, so that he may fine tune. I know that the focus of his article has been the current farming mess, but it’s all mixed up with the Rajapaksa efforts to stir Islamophobia. It appears from the Wikipedia article below that the 1915 riots were a major affair.
          .
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1915_Sinhalese-Muslim_riots
          .
          As with most such problems, it started with some minor fracas, and then spread. However, it looks as though “the Sinhalese side” was not the one mostly to blame. Perhaps Dr Ali could help us to look at all this objectively.
          .
          It isn’t easy!

    • 11
      3

      Modi and the BJP have not tamed or eliminated any Tamil Nadu politicians. Tamil Nadu has not produced any successful or charismatic politicians, who stand tall and are able to challenge the northern politicians and the Indian central government. Tamil Nadu had produced great Indian politicians from pre-independence, Rajagopala Chakravarthi, Kamraj, Annadurai, Periyar, Karunanidhi, MGR Ot MG Ramachandran, Jayalalitha. Dr. Abdul Kalam. These people stood tall, were natural-born leaders, and were more than equal to any central Indian politician. Able to get what they want for their people and their state. After their death, no such politician or leader has not come from Tamil Nadu. This has nothing to do with Modi or the BJP. The LTTE leader Prapakaran had these leadership abilities and charisma to people but unfortunately was stubborn, not wise, and shrewd enough and this led to his people’s downfall. Secondly, due to the rule and action of all these great leaders /politicians from Tamil Nadu, the state is prospering and the people of Tamil Nadu feel it is better for them to be part of the Indian union, as it gives them greater economic and military strength and they are first rates in their own land. Tamil Nadu where no one can rule them. Their language culture and land are secure. This is what matters to them.

      • 3
        6

        Agree partly – leadership material has dried out in TN and TN has risen from one of the poorest Indian states to the second richest by state economy.

        But Modi’s BJP since 1990s played a key role in weakening existed and potential Tamil Nadu leadership by forcing Indian policies on them far more aggressively than ever before. President is just a ceremonial position in India. The PM has all the powers. No Tamil has ever become the Indian PM.

        Congress-I was very accommodating TN. NDA not so. BJP allies tried to penetrate TN electorate many times but failed. The next step was the weaken them which BJP/NDA successfully did.

        TN has dropped the SL Tamil issue after the deaths of Jaya and Karuna.

        India nicely timed a new approach to SL where Tamil issues are disregarded. Cunning Rajapaksas responded very well. Now Indian rulers (always north Indians) will see Rajapaksas as their supporters. A massive change since 2015.

        • 6
          3

          Just because the present Indian Thanmizh leaders do not raise Sri Lankan Thamizh issues does not mean they or Thamizh Nadu is weak. When the BJP government tried again to forcibly reintroduce compulsory learning of Hindi through the backdoor and the banning of the ancient Thamizh sport Jallikattu. You saw the response in Thamizh Nadu and the Modi government had to back away with its tail between its leg. They may have for now made the Sri Lankan Thamizh issue a nonissue but still, realize they cannot play the fool with a powerful and important key state like Thamizh Nadu. Trying to appease and placate the Chingkallams and making the Sri Lankan Thamzh issue a nonissue, what has India gained, only China on its backstep and also Islamic extremism. Eezham Thamizh has not gained or lost anything, others have now come into the picture and it’s India’s loss. Eezham Thamizh already knew that India was playing a double game with them and is really not their friend and so are many of the present leaders from Thamizh Nadu. A Thamizh or for that matter a Malayali Bengali or any other Indian who is not from the north will not become an Indian Prime Minister, as these key north Indian Hindi and allied language-speaking states make up almost half of India’s population.

          • 6
            6

            Therefore the Prime Minister is usually from one of these states. However, unlike Sri Lanka, Thamizh who are only around 7% of India’s population, holds a lot of power and many Thamiuzh hold powerful and key portfolios and positions. Some of these so-called Thamizh may be anti-Eezham or Sri Lankan Thamizh but will never make decisions detrimental to the Indian Thamizh, as they realize what the repercussions will be. Thamizh Nadu has had a history of producing very powerful and charismatic leaders, compared to other Indian states. This is why movies are made of these leaders and will soon produce one. Chingkallams are very good at getting people around with all sorts of promises and hopes and then deceiving and breaking them. Very soon India BJP and Modi will learn a bitter lesson and no fake Swamy can help them

      • 3
        0

        In Tamil Nadu, most candidates declare their personal wealth before elections.
        This strongly influences choices of voters.
        When will this happen in Sri Lanka?

      • 0
        1

        Part I
        Hi Rohan 25
        Hit the ‘Nail Right and Centre’
        Essence of federation
        1. “Due to the ‘ideal’ rule and action of all these great leaders /politicians from Tamil Nadu, the state is prospering and the people of Tamil Nadu feel it is better for them to be part of the Indian union, as it gives them greater economic and military strength.
        So it is a win – win situation.
        a) Freedom coupled with,
        b) Security of the Union” – 4th largest armed forces
        Plus,
        2. “They are first rates in their own land. Tamil Nadu where no one can rule them. Their language culture and land are secure.”
        This is what matters to them or any sensible person and builds community spirit and common uniting culture and spirit whilst achieving one’s aspirations!
        Not separation as articulated by the uninitiated in federalism
        Hence, separation disappears from the screen automatically.
        Size and diversity does not matter. Examples, United States of America, Switzerland, Australia and The United Kingdom.
        Another fallacy that, need ‘visa’ “Go from Matara to KKS or from Batticaloa to Colombo and Negombo.”
        That is only in the Fiction/dreams of ‘Lemon Puff’ eating WWs and those of his ilk.

      • 0
        1

        Part II
        REALITY
        None takes out a ‘visa’ to go from Los Angeles to New York, or Chicago to San Frisco?
        If in doubt, best person to seek information to clear the doubt and speak the truth are those, who have had “firsthand experience” of such ‘visa’ existence, if any.
        Please address the question to the first citizen, HE The President of SL and Hon Minister of Finance of Sri Lanka and their personal experience!
        First person is an ex US citizen of 20 years (Who attended the UNO gen Assembly, in early 2021 arriving in NYC from SL and proceeding to LA, California to see his Grand new born Daughter and i am certain he did not take a visa from NYC to LA!!!) and the second is a current US citizen for almost substantial period!!
        Then we can exfoliate this myth from the constitutional lexicon and some freedom of thought, without unnecessary baggage and myths of the backward and uneducated, claiming false and only imaginary, reactionary effects without any basic truth or fact.
        Lemon Puff Gobbledygook at its best, just like fooling the 6.9 million?! Do it anyway!!!.

  • 11
    4

    Gotabaya thought that he can bring economic revolution with Sinhala only military and Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalist policy. He thought he can replace farmers and their land with Sinhala only military with the help of China only. He never thought that Sri Lanka is surrounded by India and there are considerable number of other communities live in this island and Sri Lanka is a dependent nation. Unfortunately, family attachment became more important than country and the taste of money came from the deals ranked first than the country. How can you forget about MIC deals, Hambantota harbour deals, Tsunami fund , erection of Mahinda cut outs, deals to make numbers and give freedom to make deals as ministers, 10-15% commission in every projects and so many including Easter Bombing. Without any change to these practice what development can Sri Lanka achieve?

    • 4
      13

      Ajith,
      “Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalist policy.”
      —-
      Sheer BS!

      • 9
        1

        Eagle,
        In case you didn’t know, Tamils and Muslims (without free Mahaweli water) produce most of the country’s output, even a large part of rice and commercial agriculture. Why are Sinhalayo unable to keep up even with Mahaweli and land-grabbing?

        • 1
          7

          old codger,
          “Tamils and Muslims (without free Mahaweli water) produce most of the country’s output, even a large part of rice and commercial agriculture.”

          After chasing away Sinhalayo from NE, Tamils and Muslims grabbed paddy land owned by Sinhalayo and refuse to return the land to Sinhalayo.

          • 4
            0

            Eagle,
            How do they produce more than Sinhalayo , without the irrigation and rainfall ?
            I think it would be better to give them all the land and pay your fake Sinhalayo to sit at home.

            • 1
              2

              old codger,
              “How do they produce more than Sinhalayo…”

              No one keeps records of paddy production based on ethnicity. You are making up stories. Tamils are very good at it.

              • 1
                1

                Eagle,
                Tamils produce most of the tea. The EP production of rice by Muslims is more efficient. Much of the garment industry is minority owned. True that the casino and bookie industries are owned by Sinhalayo.

              • 1
                0

                EE what are Tamils good at? Do you mean paddy cultivation?
                *
                ps. OC is not Tami, and he has said it many times.

                • 0
                  0

                  Nor am I a Tamil – unless one starts examining genes.
                  .
                  Unfortunately, dear SJ, I don’t know any Tamil – Sinhalayo should learn Tamil if they want this to remain one country with all citizens being equal in every way.
                  .
                  Even Bishop Dushantha Rodrigo is a Sinhalese who says things similar to me on most subjects. His article is on display and I’m the only person who has so far commented. Dushy is busy even today at the Diocesan Council meeting. We have only till Wednesday to make some comments there. I’ll have to make another comment there today after seeing what Eagle Eye has said.
                  .
                  Panini Edirisinhe

          • 1
            1

            EE,
            “After chasing away Sinhalayo from NE, Tamils and Muslims grabbed paddy land owned by Sinhalayo and refuse to return the land to Sinhalayo.”
            Are you dreaming/Day Dreaming/Bad Dreaming?!
            You say, “The Sinhalayo chased out by the Tamils and Muslims to grab their Paddy Lands”. is true then, we should/could logically deduce that the so called ‘Tamils and Muslims’ are downright “Idiots”!!!
            Who, in their right minds, select or ‘choose’, a portion of Sri Lanka in the arid North of Ceylon, devoid of Rivers and only seasonal rain to cultivate.
            Most of the North and specially the peninsula are low lying, subject to monsoon flooding, devastating crops and sandy and parts of it certain content of clay!!
            To think that someone would chose to rob, as implied, would be ludicrous unless the robbers (in this case Tamils/Muslims) are out of their minds and fools!! Get the point?
            The truth is, original domiciles, abhor hard & Labour intensive work. Especially morning Muster 6 am
            That is the blatant truth.
            The evidence of this claim, 1 million (or thereabouts)progeny of Indian conscript Labour of 18th and 19th century in the 7 districts of UVA, Sabaragamuwa, Western, North Western Provinces of SL.

          • 1
            1

            EE
            Part II
            These, sect of conscript Labour are as stated from South India, speaking either Malayalam, Tamil, or Telugu, which is their native tongue of origin. However, they now mainly speak Tamil and Sinhalese in certain locations depending on predominance.
            Notwithstanding, what is common to this 1 million citizens (Thanks to JRJ and Thondaman) is their sweat, Toil and Tears conjointly built the 3 basic export crops of Sri Lanka since the 18th century, overtaking traditional spice trade and Elephants.
            They should be congratulated & acclaimed for their efforts to achieve supremacy in SL Tea Exports! Even now after 100 years!!
            Once upon a time Rubber and Coconut Oil too, mostly indentured labour is used.
            If not for the surplus and prolific output of Rubber industry, R-R pact with China – another Dream!
            Without Tamils, Sri Lankans would have been eating Jak Fruit instead all 3 meals. Apologies, a Minister claims “have 2 meals” only!!!
            Thanked unreservedly, not condemned.

    • 1
      5

      Not true.

      There is a massive number of Tamil and Muslim businessmen, lawyers, farmers, etc. in SL under Gota’s rule.

      Governments since 1948 had a multi-ethnic policy to all these. A massive failure anyway.

      • 1
        0

        G
        I think that you should on occasion switch on your very personal computer upstairs.

  • 9
    3

    Ameer Ali , recently a Tamil boy aged 21 was murdered by the police in Batticaloa. Reportedly Lankan police visited his house for an inquiry but later tied him to tree and severely assaulted him in front of his family members, SI Mohammed who lead the assault told family, he had killed 8 others in the past and nothing can be done about it, police then took the unconscious boy to station and later returned the dead body to his family. Initial govt autopsy was fake as usual but the repeat autopsy under court order showed more than 30 grievous injuries as cause of death. This is Rajapaksas current Lanka and low and odor. Who on earth will want to visit such country.???

    • 3
      0

      Chiv,
      This is what 2/3 majority and 20th and 18th amendments deliver.
      Thanks to the parliamentary representatives of the sovereign people of Sri Lanka! Bunch of idiots, ill-educated rascals and sycophants’ and Psychopaths’.
      The most intelligent lot with 2500 years of heritage or brutality from infancy.
      Right from bottom to the top!!
      All other futile idiosyncrasies are apparently from Top to Bottom.
      One complements the other!!! Jadiyata Moodiya!!!! “Jolly Good”
      Every one fails – Failed State without doubt from 2019
      Dhang Sapade?

  • 5
    1

    “The entire political economy needs radical overhaul if the economy to revive.”
    What kind of overhaul would the author suggest, other than borrowing from IMP to pay off debt.
    *
    “Over sixty years of export diversification, tea still remains the leading earner of foreign exchange. “
    I would have though that the garment industry overtook tea decades ago and is streets ahead.
    The author has failed to thank JRJ for destroying whatever local industries that sprang up including ones under the UNP in 1965-70.

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      Part I
      Hi SJ,
      Your reference,
      “What kind of overhaul would the author suggest, other than borrowing from IMP to pay off debt”
      I believe IMP is a ‘typing error’ you meant (International Monetary Fund) IMF
      Well, to the best of my understanding, IMF does not provide borrowings by countries to ‘pay off’, past ‘ill-conceived debts’! No Return on Investment (RoI)
      No they do not do such irrational things to support such misadventure in any form or shape!!
      That is why the current government/administration does not want to seek IMF assistance because they (Government) cannot do what they are best at!!
      IMF provides macro long and medium term restructuring of Economy and support thereof to bridge the Gap, if any!!
      Not otherwise!!! For instance NO Hambantota Port or Mattala Airport!!!!
      Which includes many facets of Governance including resizing/restructuring of the public service, control/monitoring the country’s finances and procedures, proper use of resources including loans to ensure proper RoI assessment, so as to regain economic resurgence and to reach full economic potential.

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      Part II
      SJ,
      Small minds and brains put that ‘OFF’, dismiss as ‘Western Imperialists’, ‘Neo colonists’, to control SL which is sheer ‘BS’, figment of imagination of ‘Lemon puff’ eating “Patriots”. It is too much to swallow, their pride!!!!!
      Same underlying reason the notorious and much publicised ‘Metro’ financed by low interest and 10 year grace for commencing repayment – The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was cancelled. JICA requires unstinted commitment to payment procedure, adherence to integrity of the project to ensure the stated objective of the project is achieved. No Commissions too!!!
      IMF and IBRD are identical goals.
      Hence IMF is thrown out, although IMF “Bail out” to SL, since Independence has been ‘umpteen’ number of times. Call it R Bros Inc., phenomenon.
      No further explanations!!!!
      Not listening to experienced Public Servants/administrators, or economists to solve Financial crisis is anathema! Prefer experimenting ‘hearsay’ ill-advice provided by ‘side kicks’ and ‘stooges/commission agents’ hanging around for their own gains!!!!!
      This why you require 20th amendment and 2/3 majority, to cushion infantile and R Bros Inc., experiments and “throw to the Dust Bin”, trusted procedures.
      You may attribute to venting ones EGO, in fact, “empty mind”

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        M
        IMP was a typo that I did not bother to correct. thanks anyway.
        There is still the question: What has the author suggested other than going after the IMF.
        *
        As for the virtues of IMF for a quick read look at “https://www.jordanharbinger.com/john-perkins-new-confessions-of-an-economic-hit-man/”
        His book “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” was an eye opener for many who lightly dismissed references to imperialism and exploitation of the Third World.
        *
        I hope that your ‘broad mind’ will examine why the US has been the biggest military aggressor of every decade for a whole century up to now.
        It may also examine why it imposes sanctions on Cuba, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Iran etc to cripple their economies and even encourage the likes of Israel and Saudi Arabia.
        The days of the Empire will be over soon, but not soon enough for me. Then We will stop talking about imperialism and neocolonialism, which exist despite anyone’s dislike for the term.

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          There is still the question: What has the author suggested other than going after the IMF.?
          Oh! He would have mentioned make a 99 years deal with China.

          “The days of the Empire will be over soon,
          Replaced by Chinese Emperor?

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            !

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          Thanks SJ.
          Appreciate your direction on those links as to IMF and the links.
          I am sure they will be a good assistance in better understanding of this subject.
          I do hope I will have the opportunity to do so soon.

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      SJ

      “What kind of overhaul would the author suggest, other than borrowing from IMP to pay off debt.”

      A Mao’s Great Leap Forward type of overhaul perhaps.

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    S.J,
    The garment industry isn’t “streets ahead” of the tea industry, because much of its inputs are imported. Interestingly, Sri Lanka is the world’s biggest exporter of used rubber tyres ($360 m).

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      The net FC gain of the garment industry has been ahead of Tea which has shrunk considerably of late.

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    Amir,
    Reference,
    “Meanwhile, an obsequious CBSL Governor Nivard Cabraal, an accountant cum politician, whose previous record of CBSL management was not unblemished, is still adamant that IMF would not be approached, because that would hinder the progress of President GR’s so-called alternative development path.”.
    I am not certain of his intent on this stubbornness.
    I am not so sure of the ‘Missions and Visions of NV’, for instance, the ill-advised ‘Chartered Srilankan planeload’ of supporters and “pollies” to the West Indies in 2014, to buy the next world cup to Colombo, Hambantota, Weeraketiya, Sri Lanka.
    ‘Kerum Karaya’ stunts, which failed and utterly, after spending such a lot of resources.
    The progressive policies of HE is commendable and needs to pass ‘Muster’ the test by credible, administrators, Researches, Scientists, Engineers and other professionals of stature, which resplendent Sri Lanka has in abundance.
    If and when it does, sure the IMF, ADB, IBRD et all would welcome and embrace & proceed.

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